Mahasweta Devi: Her words on silver screen

A still from 'Gangor.' Photograph:( Others )

WION New Delhi, India Jul 28, 2016, 11.12 AM (IST) Mithaq Kazimi

When Gangor, an Italian-Indian co-production, was nominated for an award at the Rome Film Festival in 2010, Mahasweta Devi, on whose story the film was based, was already a prolific author with some 300 published works to her name.

She passed away on Thursday, July 28 at the age of 91 in Kolkata, India. 

A social activist and author of multiple award-winning books, many focussing on the disenfranchised at a time when others were afraid to speak for them, her work also found way to the silver screen.

Here are some films based on her writings:

  • Sunghursh - A 1968 feature film by H S Rawail (known for writing Laila Majnu) starring Dilip Kumar, who was nominated for a Filmfare award for this role.
  • Behula - This 1989 film showcased the conflict between science and superstition through the characters of a research student from Haffkine Institute and a local witchdoctor.
  • Rudaali - A 1993 film, directed by Kalpana Lajmi and starring Dimple Kapadia, won three national awards including one Filmfare critics award for best performance.
  • Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa  -  A 1998 film starring Jaya Bachchan was awarded the National Film Award for best feature film in Hindi and the Filmfare Special Jury Award.
  • Maati Maay - A 2006 Marathi film based on her writing, Maati Maay (A Grave-keeper's Tale) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Gangor - A 2010 multilingual film based on Bangla short story 'Choli ke Peeche' (Behind the Bodice) bagged various accolades around the globe.?