Mahesh Bhatt (born 1949) began his career as an assistant to Hindi director Raj Khosla. Bhatt’s films show an unusual engagement with the psychological damage arising from infringement of social norms. He has been a knowing self-publicist, highlighting personal narratives of illegitimate birth and extra-marital romance to factor into the public reception of films such as Arth (1982), Janam (1985) and Naam (1986). These films provided challenges of characterization to their actors, who included both parallel and mainstream stars. The stand-out film of his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple’s anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence. His remarkable last film, Zakhm (1998), was returned to the censor board because of right-wing pressure critical of its references to the Mumbai riots of 1993.
Author: House of World Cultures
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
New Perspectives from India
(19 September 03 - 16 November 03)