Bandit Queen (1994)
Director: Shekhar Kapur.
Starring: Seema Biswas (Phoolan Devi), Aditya Srivastava (Puttilal), Agesh Markam (Mad Woman), Ajai Rohilla (Behmai Man), Anirudh Agarwal (Babu Gujjar), Anil Sahu (Vikram Gang Member), Anupam Shyam (Ganshyam), Aseem Bajaj (Poolan/Man Singh Gang), Ashok Bulani (D.S.P), Ashok Sharma (Ashokchand Servant), Avinash Nemade (Doctor), Basant Rawat (Poolan/Man Singh Gang), Chotelal Siraswal (Vikram Gang Member), Deepak Chibber (S.P. Bhind), Deepak Soni (Miandad).
The movie shows the terrible effects of the caste system, as well as the terrible treatment of women in India. A lower-caste girl Phoolan Devi is sold into marriage by her parents. She is abused by her husband and escapes. Escaping rape by the local boys of a higher caste she is framed as being a hussy and the town elders ban her from the town. She eventually joins a gang of bandits and when the leadership is killed off rises to the top of the gang as co-leader and then leader. She becomes so famous in the Indian press that she becomes part of folklore. This places pressure on the government to capture her.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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