shyam benegal

Benagal was born in 1934 in Andhra Pradesh. Before entering the film world he worked as an ad film maker and directed about 900 of them. Later when he started making films, he introduced to the film world what is known as ‘parallel films’ or ‘middle cinema’. His first film was Gher Betha Ganga which came out in 1962. Films which followed it were Ankur(1973), Nishant(1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977). All these films were highly accalimed for their artistic values..    

Films like Ankur, Nishant and Manthan dealt with the sensitive issue of sexual exploitation of women.  Next came his different set of films which dealt with various like Mahabharata, biographies. Benegal has avid interest in History and biographies and a large number of his movies are based on biographies or historical events. these include Zubeida, Junoon, Bose: The Forgotten Hero, Bharat Ek Khoj, and Mahatma Gandhi.

However Benegal had also made films based on social  and political issues like Kalyug, Suraj Ka Satvan Gora , Sardari Begum.


Benegal is unlike most modern film makers of India. his films do not give any serious social commentary. Most of he says remains subtle and understated.

Benegal has also worked with the television medium. He has directed the famous series Bharat Ek Khoj and a documentary on Mahatma Gandhi.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991.

Also read on ..

Magic Real Art     Pseudoreal Art      Surreal Art

Film-making and pseudorealism      Films of Aparna Sen       Films of Satyajit Ray     Films of Mrinal Sen     Films of G Aravindan    Films of Guru Dutt    Films of Raj Kapoor    Films of Shyam Benegal

Magic Realist Literature         Pseudorealism and Indian Literature 

Pseudorealism and Global politicking

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A Scene from Shtyam Benegal's Film featuring Shabana Azmi

Political Film of Benegal featuring Smita Patil

A Film Poster of a Benegal Film