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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[1] addresses the theme of communal harmony. Most of it is shot in Varanasi.

Movie poster for Dharm
Directed byBhavna Talwar
Written byVarun Gautam
Vibha Singh
StarringPankaj Kapoor
Hrishitaa Bhatt
Supriya Pathak
Pankaj Tripathi
Daya Shankar Pandey
Edited bySteven Bernard
Release date
  • 8 June 2007 (2007-06-08)
Running time
105 minutes

At the 2007 National Film Award, it won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.[2] The film was premiered in the Tous Les Cinemas du Monde (World Cinema) section of 2007 Cannes Film Festival.[3][4]


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."

Critical receptionEdit

Dharma was premiered[5] 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.[1] 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.[6] The film was awarded the Swarovski Trophy for Best Film at the Asian Festival of First Films.[7]

At home, though it wasn't a box office success, it opened to excellent reviews from the critics[8] and later the world rights of the film were acquired by Films Distribution, France.[9]

Dharm was embroiled in a controversy in India, where it became one of the finalists for India's official entry to the Oscars, a race it lost to Eklavya: The Royal Guard.[10]



  1. ^ a b Soundtrack of Cannes Fest entry 'Dharm' launched entertainment.oneindia, Thursday, 17 May 2007
  2. ^ "55th NATIONAL FILM AWARDS FOR THE YEAR 2007" (PDF). Press Information Bureau (Govt. of India).
  3. ^ Preview: Acceptance in Cannes bestows prestige and honour Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Cannes, India celebrate 60 years
  5. ^ Cannes World Premiere for Bhavna Talwar’s Dharm screenindia, The Indian Express Group, 4 May 2007.
  6. ^ Bhavna Talwar’s Dharm to be screened at the IFFI-2007 merinews, 16 November 2007
  7. ^ "Awards for Dharm (2007)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  8. ^ Dharm - Movie Review Archived 2007-12-17 at the Wayback Machine IndiaFM, Friday, 8 June 2007.
  9. ^ Bhavna Talwar, Creative Director Archived 2008-10-06 at the Wayback Machine wsgpictures
  10. ^ "India's entry to Oscars caught in a legal tangle". Reuters India. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2007.

External linksEdit