December 1 marks World Aids Day. Despite spreading awareness through various means the disease still remains a taboo not only in India but also in various parts of the world. The Indian film industry has moved a step ahead by coming up with films based on the theme of AIDS. Though these movies have managed to create a buzz most of them went unnoticed at the box-office.
On the occasion of World Aids Day here’s a look at 5 poignant films that raised awareness about AIDS and are a must-watch.
AIDS Jaago (2007)
Directed by acclaimed directors Mira Nair, Vishal Bhardwaj, Farhan Akhtar and Santosh, ‘AIDS Jaago’ is a project of four short-films that aims to spread awareness about the myths and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. The films – Migration, Blood Brothers, Positive and Prarambha – come from different parts of the country with its own genre and a different point about the disease. The films feature Shiney Ahuja, Irrfan Khan, Sameera Reddy, Raima Sen, Ayesha Takia and Pankaj Kapur, among others.
Phir Milenge (2004)
Inspired by American film ‘Philadelphia’, the film is directed by actress Revathi and features Shilpa Shetty, Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan in lead roles. The story is about Tamanna Sahni (Shilpa Shetty) who loses her job after her employer comes to know that she is HIV positive. Angered by unfair dismissal she files a complaint against the employer. Eventually, Tarun Anand (Abhishek) accepts her case. Unfortunately, they lose the case but they refile it in the High Court. After Tarun fights the case strongly she finally wins the case in High Court. Later, Tamanna starts her own venture and after two years is recognised as one of the young achievers.
My Brother…Nikhil (2005)
Directed by Onir, the film stars Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla in lead roles. The film is based on the life of Dominic D’Souza, a worker at World Wildlife Fund and an AIDS activist. The movie is based on two important subjects ‘homosexuality’ and ‘AIDS’. The movie portrays the life of the protagonist Nikhil and how his life changes after being diagnosed with HIV. His parents throw him out of the house, friends move away, he is removed from his swimming team and even arrested just because he is HIV positive. He is forced to live in isolation. The only person to stand by him is his sister Anamika (Juhi Chawla), her boyfriend Sam (Gautam Kapoor) and his boyfriend Nigel D’Costa (Purab Kohli). Despite facing threats, Anamika and Nigel manage to release him.
68 Pages (2007)
Directed by Sridhar Rangayan, the film is based on HIV/AIDS counsellor and her clients. The film perfectly portrays how society stigmatizes and shuns those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and those who are different. The movie tells the story of the counsellor (essayed by Mauli Ganguly) who avoids emotional attachment with her clients but finds difficult to remain unaffected. She expresses her feelings in ‘68 pages’ of her personal diary.
Dus Kahaniyaan – Zahir (2007)
Dus Kahaniyaan is an anthology of ten short films directed by six directors. One of the films titled ‘Zahir’ revolves around ‘AIDS’. Directed by Sanjay Gupta the film features Dia Mirza and Manoj Bajpayee. The story is about Zahir (Manoj) a writer who comes to reside in a friend’s apartment where he meets Sia, who shares an apartment on the same floor as him. They become friends and eventually fall in love. But Sia rejects Zahir. One night when he visits a bar with his friends he comes to know that Sia a bar dancer. Frustrated he visits her apartment and despite her attempts to explain him the truth he rapes her. The next morning when Zahir wakes up he finds a note from Sia that explains ‘AIDS’ the reason for her rejection and she cared for his health and wellbeing. The story is narrated by Zahir who reveals that Sia passed away two years back and he is now waiting for his death.
Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, the film stars Shivaji Satam, Reema Lagoo, Sunil Barve, Nisha Bains, Mohan Joshi and Sanjay Dutt. The film portrays the story of a teenager who contracts AIDS during a blood transfusion. The movie was declared tax free by the Indian government.
Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999)
The movie is not based on the subject ‘AIDS’ but a part of it talks about it. Emotional upheavals haunt the group when one of the lead’s friend contracts the disease and how friends support him.