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Presented By: Center for South Asian Studies

CSAS Film Series | Jai Bhim Comrade

Film Director, Anand Patwardhan

CSAS Film Series | Jai Bhim Comrade CSAS Film Series | Jai Bhim Comrade
CSAS Film Series | Jai Bhim Comrade
For thousands of years, India’s Dalits were abhorred as “untouchables,” denied education, and treated as bonded labor. By 1923 Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, won doctorates abroad, and fought for the emancipation of his people. He drafted India’s Constitution and led his followers to Buddhism. His legend still spreads through poetry and song.

In 1997 a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire and killed 10 people. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung himself in protest.

Jai Bhim Comrade shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas and marks a tradition that, from the days of the Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.

“Far reaching, and by turns pensive and enraging… Jai Bhim Comrade could be seen as a capstone to Patwardhan’s extraordinary career.” - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian

“Legendary director Anand Patwardhan’s epic doc about dalit people is a massive, musical, magnificent, masterpiece” - Mark Cousins, Filmmaker, Critic

Anand Patwardhan, India’s leading documentary filmmaker, is known for his socio-political, award-winning films. He has spent decades capturing Mumbai’s slum dwellers, the reality of the caste system, the rise of Hindu nationalism, and tensions between India and Pakistan. He is a member of the Oscar academy, and his films have earned more than 20 international awards.

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