Dharm (English: Religion) is a 2007 Hindi film directed by Bhavna Talwar and starring Pankaj Kapoor and Supriya Pathak in lead roles. This debut film of the director addresses the theme of communal harmony. Most of it is shot in Varanasi.
Movie poster for Dharm
|Directed by||Bhavna Talwar|
|Written by||Varun Gautam|
Daya Shankar Pandey
|Edited by||Steven Bernard|
At the 2007 National Film Award, it won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. The film was premiered in the Tous Les Cinemas du Monde (World Cinema) section of 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
The story is based in Benares and is about Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapoor), a highly revered and learned Brahmin priest. A baby is abandoned by a woman and brought to his house by his daughter. He agrees to adopt the child due to requests from his wife Parvati (Supriya Pathak) and his daughter Vedika(Ananya Tripathi). Life takes a turn when the boy's mother returns and says that she lost her child during the communal riots.After the family finds out that the boy is Muslim after they have become attached to him. The family gives back the boy to his mother. Chaturvedi engulfs himself in purification processes to cleanse his body, mind, and soul due to contact with a Muslim soul. By the time Chaturvedi thinks he is fully purified, the child reappears ; seeking refuge, due to Hindu-Muslim riots and a group of people chasing a Muslim man to slay. This is when Chaturvedi realizes the true meaning of scriptures, that the true religion is humanity.The movie ends with a message of communal harmony that " Dharm is not just penance and practice,Dharm is Unity,Dharm is Brotherhood,Dharm is non-violent."
Dharma was premiered at the 60th Cannes Film Festival and became the closing film of the World Cinema Section at the festival; it was also the official Indian entry to the Festival. It was screened at 38th International Film Festival of India (2007), in Goa, and later went to film festivals like the Cancun Film Festival, Mexico; Asian Festival of First Films, Singapore; and the Palms Spring Festival, California. The film was awarded the Swarovski Trophy for Best Film at the Asian Festival of First Films.
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