1. Bandit Queen (1994)
Bandit Queen is one of the most controversial yet widely acclaimed Bollywood films of all time. This film, directed by Shekhar Kapur, was based on the life of dreaded dacoit Phoolan Devi. The National Award winning film successfully portrayed the caste-divide in rural India. And how the social circumstances forced a young girl in her teens to transform into the most notorious bandit. Bandit Queen was filmed in the rustic landscape of northern India and showcased the evils of poverty, child marriage and the nexus between law enforcement and the outlaws. The role of adult Phoolan Devi was portrayed by Seema Biswas.
The film went on to win National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi along with that year’s Filmfare Critics Award for both movie and direction. It was selected as the Indian entry at 67th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category. Bandit Queen was screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival as well as 1994 Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight section.