Women in cinema

Missing angle

Print edition : October 18, 2013

Hema Malini and Amjad Khan in a tense moment in "Sholay" (1975), which was soon to be resolved through the heroine's rescue by the hero's friend. Photo: def gjhfgh dfgrf

A poster of the 1935 movie "Hunterwali" featuring the "fearless Nadia". The movie was stunning in the way it produced an image of a woman that could not be seen even in Western films.

The Hunterwali moment is resurrected again in Shekhar Kapoor's "Bandit Queen", with Seema Goswami in the lead role.

A scene from Aparna Sen's "Parama", with Rakhee in the lead role, which addresses the many shackles that bind women.

From Ray's "Devi", which illustrates the process by which the mythologisation of women is fuelled by male desire. In this still, Sharmila Tagore with Soumitra Chatterjee.

The 1973 "Bobby" signalled a new age focussed on personal autonomy. Dimple Kapadia with Rishi Kapoor.

"Guide" (1965) was able to present a complex female character. Dev Anand with Waheeda Rehman. Photo: sdsd sadsd

"Aradhana" (1969) signals the danger for women following their desires. Here, Sharmila Tagore with Rajesh Khanna.

A poster of "Mother India" showing Nargis. The 1957 movie, for all its apparent celebration of womanhood, uses women to shore up tradition, not to move them forward. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

From Shyam Benegal's "Nishant". Benegal's films successfully liberated the public from the glittery "filmy" idea of beauty. Here, Shabana Azami with Girish Karnad. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

In "Kahaani" (2013), the woman is the quester, played by Vidya Balan.

A greater range of women’s experiences and lives needs to be covered in depth before the daughters of India can see themselves as full human beings on screen.
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