This book examines Shyam Benegal's films and alternative image(s) of India in his cinema, and traces the trajectory of changing aesthetics of his cinema in the post-liberalisation era. The book engages with the challenges faced by India as a nation-state in post-colonial times. Looking at hybrid and complex narratives of films like Manthan, Junoon, Kalyug, Charandas Chor, Sooraj Ka Satvaan Ghoda, Zubeidaa and Well Done Abba , among others, it analyses how these stories and characters, adapted and derived from mythology, folk-tales, historical fiction and novels, are rooted in the socio-political contexts of modern India. The author explores diverse themes in Benegal's cinema such as the loss of home and identity, women's sexuality, and the status of dalits and Muslims in India. He also focuses on how the filmmaker expertly weaves history with myth, culture, and contemporary politics and discusses the debate around the interpretive value of film adaptations, adaptation of history and the representations of marginalised communities and liminal spaces.
The book will be useful for students and researchers of film studies, cultural studies, and the humanities. It will also interest readers of Indian cinema and the social and cultural history of India.