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Anand Patwardhan
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"Anand Patwardhan's career-graph as a film-maker demonstrates clearly that the medium of film need not confine itself to amusement: it reassures us that the film-maker as gadfly, as critic, as conscience-keeper of society, is alive and well."
— Ranjit Hoskot, The Hindu

Anand Patwardhan is an award-winning filmmaker who has been making political documentaries for nearly three decades. He has relentlessly pursued diverse and controversial issues that are at the crux of social and political life in India. At one time or another, many of his films have been banned by state television channels in India, to which Patwardhan invariably responded with litigation campaigns that successfully challenged his country's censorship practices.

Patwardhan received a B.A. in English Literature from Bombay University in 1970 and earned a Master's in Communications from McGill University in 1982. He has received no formal filmmaking training but has been a committed and tireless activist since his days as a student, having participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement; volunteering in Caesar Chavez United Farm Worker's Union; working in Kishore Bharati, a rural development and education project in central India; participating in the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75; and joining in the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency.

Since then, he has been active in an astonishing array of movements, including those for housing rights of the urban poor, communal harmony and the environment. He has also been involved in lobby groups against the Narmada Dam, unjust and unsustainable development, and nuclear testing in South Asia. As a filmmaker, he has won over 20 international awards from festivals in India, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK and the United States.

Icarus Films is proud to distribute ten films by Anand Patwardhan:

  • War and Peace - From India's leading documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. Filmed over 3 years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the US. An epic journey of peace activism in the face of religious fanaticism, militarism and war.

  • Fishing in the Sea of Greed - Documents the response of one fishing community in India to the "rape and run" industrial-scale fishing that has begun to dominate their livelihood and decimate their environment.

  • Occupation: Mill Worker - records the courageous action of workers who, after a four-year lockout, forcibly occupied The New Great Eastern Mill in India.

  • We are Not Your Monkeys - is a look at the caste system in India through Daya Pawar's song.

  • A Narmada Diary - Investigates the Sardar Sarover Dam project in western India which may displace 200,000 residents of the Narmada valley.

  • Father, Son and Holy War - Does the root of India's recent bloodshed - perhaps all bloodshed - lie in male insecurity, itself an inevitable product of the very construction of "manhood?"

  • In the Name of God - The violent campaign waged by the militant Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to destroy the 16th century Ayodhya mosque.

  • In Memory of Friends - Documents the violence and terror in Punjab, India - a land torn apart by religious fundamentalists and a repressive government.

  • Bombay: Our City - 4 million slum dwellers - half of Bombay's population - must battle daily just to survive.

  • Prisoners of Conscience - Early film by India's leading documentary filmmaker, Anand Patwardhan, now on video for the first time. Human rights, political prisoners & the State of Emergency in India from 1975 to 1977.

Related Links:
Featured Filmmaker Index

Additional Information:

The director has issued two press releases for War and Peace:
June 2, 2002 Press Release
August 24, 2002 Press Release

Director's statement on the tragedy in Mumbai

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Last Updated September 8, 2011
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