Sadma, Iqbal, Barfi: 9 Bollywood movies that spoke about disabilities

As Rani Mukerji's latest film Hichki highlights Tourtette Syndrome, here are 9 other films that addressed disabilities or disorders.


'Guzaarish' is a film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and featutred Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in lead roles.

The story explored the life of a paralyzed magician-turned-Radio jockey who filed a petition in court seeking permission to end his life. When the law fails to help him, Ethan decides to garner public support through a radio show.



'Black' is a 2005 Indian drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan.

It revolves around a deaf and blind girl and her relationship with her teacher.

Debraj, a stubborn teacher, helps Michelle, a girl with visual and hearing impairment, explore her potential as she takes on the challenge of graduating college.

12 years later, at the age of 40, Michelle does succeed in graduating in Arts. She is reunited with her teacher who himself later develops Alzheimer's disease. The film was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and featured Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan.



'Koshish' is a 1972 Hindi movie starring Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri, and was directed by Gulzar.

The movie depicted the life of two deaf and mute persons who fall in love and pledge to be together. It showed their conflicts, struggle and pain to carve out a niche for themselves in the society.

It is considered a landmark movie in the history of Indian cinema for it was for the first time that a film narrated a story of two disabled people.


Taare Zammen Par

'Taare Zameen Par' is a 2007 Indian drama film produced and directed by Aamir Khan.

The film explores the life and imagination of Ishaan, an 8-year-old dyslexic child who is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker.

Although he excels in art, his poor academic performance leads his parents to send him to a boarding school, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.


Margarita, with a Straw

'Margarita with a Straw' is a 2014 Indian drama film directed by Shonali Bose.

It stars Kalki Koechlin as a rebellious young teenager with cerebral palsy who relocates to America for her undergraduate education and her complex relationship with a blind girl, played by Sayani Gupta.

The film highlighted the exhilarating journey of self-discovery for its lead character played by Kalki.



'Sparsh' is a 1980 Indian film directed by Sai Paranjpye. It starred Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in lead roles.

It is based on a story of a visually impaired principal and a teacher in a school for the blind, where they fall in love. The film remains most memorable in the handling of the issue of relationships of visually handicapped people.



'Sadma' is a 1983 Indian drama film, written and directed by Balu Mahendra. It stars Sridevi and Kamal Hassan in the lead roles.

The film tells the story of Nehalata (Sridevi), a young girl who regresses to childhood after suffering a head injury in a car crash. Lost, she ends up trapped in a brothel before being rescued by Somu (Haasan), a lonely school teacher who falls in love with her while taking care of her.

Sadma was widely acclaimed by critics for its direction, screenplay, music and performances.

Sridevi's performance as an amnesiac woman was widely praised and is considered as one of the finest performances in Indian film history.



'Iqbal' is a 2005 Indian sports drama film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor.

The story follows a cricket-obsessed deaf and mute boy, Iqbal (Shreyas Talpade) from a remote Indian village. He is discouraged by his father who thinks that Iqbal's daydreams are a waste of time. Instead, he wants Iqbal to help him tend to the crops and become a farmer like him.

He aims to overcome the difficulties to become a cricketer and fulfill his dream of playing for the Indian national cricket team. His status hinders his selection, and he picks a retired coach (Naseeruddin Shah)to train him, who leads him to his dream.

The film received the National Film Award for Best Film on social issues.



'Barfi!' is a 2012 Indian comedy-drama film co-produced, written and directed by Anurag Basu. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Ileana D'Cruz in the lead roles.

Set in the 1970s, the film depicts the story of Murphy "Barfi" Johnson- a mute and deaf Nepali boy from Darjeeling and his relationships with two women, Shruti and Jhilmil, who is autistic.

Shruti loves Barfi, a hearing and speech-impaired man, but marries someone else. Years later, she learns that he is in love with an autistic girl, and feels the need to rethink her own marriage.


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