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A scene from Aakrosh
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Aakrosh, 1980

Once in a while a film comes along that captures the truth so effectively, it books its place in the pages of history. Govind Nihalani's directorial debut is a case in point.

Around the tragic revelations of playwright Vijay Tendulkar's significant story about the subjugation of the tribal community, Nihalani weaves a yarn so haunting in imagery and distressing in nature, it's impossible to come out unscathed.

Without sugar coating any of the hard-boiled facts, the cinematographer-turned-filmmaker documents the brutality of oppression and prevalent class/caste discrimination with a powerless judiciary to contend, in a grave and cogent manner.

The real blow, however, comes from Om Puri's startling portrayal as the victimised Bhiku Lahanya. The actor wears intensity like skin, communicating a history of violence and anguish without uttering a single word. And that is why his breakdown in the climax is understandably unfortunate, leaving the viewer -- disturbed yet helpless.

Also Read: Landmark films of the 70s

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