On World AIDS Day, here’s looking at 5 Bollywood films that raised awareness about HIV/AIDS

On World AIDS Day, here's looking back at films from Hindi cinema that tried to remove the stigma around HIV/AIDS and raise awareness on the subject.

FP Staff December 01, 2021 10:49:02 IST
On World AIDS Day, here’s looking at 5 Bollywood films that raised awareness about HIV/AIDS

Bollywood has always been shy of taking up subjects that could be considered ‘taboo’ otherwise, but once in a while, they come out with films that manage to surprise their ardent fans. To an extent, Hindi cinema has managed to speak about HIV/AIDS. AIDS has been a hush-hush subject when it comes to talking out loud on the dinner table but making a film on the issue surely brings more eyeballs which helps in spreading awareness.

Also read: World AIDS Day 2021: From how it is caused to risk factors, all you need to know about disease

On the occasion of World Aids Day here’s a look at 5 films that raised awareness about AIDS and are a must-watch.

Phir Milenge2004

Inspired by American film ‘Philadelphia’, Phire Milenge is directed by actress Revathi and features Shilpa Shetty, Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan in pivotal roles. The story revolves around Tamanna Sahni (Shilpa Shetty) who loses her job after her employer comes to know that she is HIV positive. She decides to files a complaint against the employer and meets Tarun Anand (Abhishek, who accepts her case. Unfortunately, they lose the case but they refile it in the High Court and manages to win.

AIDS Jaago – 2007

AIDS Jaago has been directed by Mira Nair and Vishal Bhardwaj and stars Farhan Akhtar and Santosh. It is a compilation of four short-films that aims to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS. The films – Migrationo, Blood Brothers, Positive and Prarambha – come from different parts of the country and highlights different points about the disease. The films feature Raima Sen, Ayesha Takia, Shiney Ahuja, Irrfan Khan, Sameera Reddy, and Pankaj Kapur, among others.

My Brother…Nikhil – 2005

The film is based on two important subjects – Homosexuality and AIDS. Directed by Onir, it stars Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla in lead roles. My Brother…Nikhil is based on the life of Dominic D’Souza, a worker at World Wildlife Fund and an AIDS activist. His life changes after being diagnosed with HIV and his parents disown him, friends move away, he is removed from his swimming team and even arrested just because he is HIV positive. He is forced to live in isolation. The only person to stand by him is his sister Anamika (Juhi Chawla), her boyfriend Sam (Gautam Kapoor) and his boyfriend Nigel D’Costa (Purab Kohli).

Dus Kahaniyaan – Zahir – 2007

Dus Kahaniyaan, is an anthology of ten short films directed by six directors. One of the films titled Zahir, directed by Sanjay Gupta, revolves around ‘AIDS’. The film features Dia Mirza and Manoj Bajpayee. Zahir (Manoj) is a writer who comes to reside in at a friend’s apartment where he meets Sia, who lives on the same floor as him. They become friends and eventually fall in love. But Sia rejects Zahir. One night when he visits a bar with his friends, he comes to know that Sia a bar dancer. Frustrated he visits her apartment and despite her attempts to explain him the truth, he rapes her. The next morning when Zahir wakes up he finds a note from Sia that explains ‘AIDS’ as the reason for her rejection and she cared for his health and wellbeing. The story is narrated by Zahir who reveals that Sia passed away two years back and he is now waiting for his death.

68 Pages – 2007

The Sridhar Rangayan film is based on HIV/AIDS counsellor and her clients. It reflects how society stigmatises and shuns those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and those who are different. The film also tells the story of the counsellor (essayed by Mauli Ganguly) who avoids emotional attachment with her clients but finds difficult to remain unaffected. She expresses her feelings in ‘68 pages’ of her personal diary.

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