In 1983, when satire wasn’t deemed anti-national, Kundan Shah made Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, an act of celluloid rebellion

It is the story of two down-on-their-luck photographers who get caught in a web of corrupt government officials, corporations and media. Thirty seven years later, it remains incredibly relevant.

Released the year before Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the film registers its protest against the regime as a comedy of errors. But despite the generous humour, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron never lets its audience off the hook. There’s no release from the sense of melancholy that grips you from this reminder of the world we live in, where the profits of the rich rest on the backs of the underprivileged.

The film ends with a hopeful song, a call to action of sorts. A song that asks viewers to not lose sight of what’s important and carry on. In a lopsided world, the act of living is in itself an act of resistance.


Read all the articles in the Art of Resistance series here.