Bollywood movies are nothing if not inspirational. Sometimes they make us cry, sometimes they make us laugh, and sometimes they make us root for the misunderstood man. On that note, let us take a brief look at five of the most important Bollywood movies that gave us some serious freedom and patriotic vibes.

  • Lagaan: No movie list about freedom can ever be complete without this Ashutosh Gowariker magnum opus. The plot revolves around a group of villagers in Champaner who must win a cricket match against the British officials in order to waive off their land taxes. Combining brilliant cinematography, some amazing A.R. Rahman and Javed Akhtar magic, and an incredible acting from the male lead Amir Khan, the film went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and is considered one of the best movies of all time.
  • Rang de Basanti: A Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra film, which was undoubtedly way ahead of its time, it is one of the ultimate triumphs of parallel narratives in Indian movies. From taking a new spin on the “rebel without a cause” stereotype to incredible and edgy music, Range de Basanti was a critical and box office hit in a time when patriotic films were doing horribly at the box office. Of course, it was a reprise for Amir Khan, whose Mangal Pandey failed to strike a chord among the movie going audience. Released in an era when escapism was still not the modern day trend, this movie gave us some serious freedom vibes.
  • Mother India: No list about inspirational Bollywood movies about freedom can ever be complete without the mention of “Mother India”. Directed by Mehboob Khan, this epic drama is as much as about India as it is about a woman’s fight against the circumstances of despair surrounding her. Reinforcing strong vibes of freedom, patriotism and nationalism, the film centres around a woman called Radha who struggles to raise her two children all by herself. It was the first film to ever be sent by India for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film during the year 1958.
  • Saat Hindustan: Directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Saat Hindustan showcases the struggles of seven young Indians men who try to free Goa from the Portuguese colonial rule. The movie is also remembered as the first film to debut Amitabh Bachchan into Bollywood. Coming from different regions, zones, classes and castes of the Indian society, the film promotes the need to look beyond one’s social standing in order to come together for something as monumental as the freedom of one’s nation and one’s personal freedom. Although the movie came out over forty years ago, it is still hailed as one of the finest Indian films about the struggle for freedom.
  • Shaheed: Last but not the least, is Shaheed, which is based on the life of Bhagat Singh and was directed by S Ram Sharma. One of the lesser known facts about the movie is that a number of the songs were penned by Ram Prasad Bismil who was a freedom fighter himself, and the film holds a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although it has been over sixty years since the movie hit the big screens, it is still one of the best movies about the Indian struggle for freedom and on the life of Bhagat Singh.

So there you have it, our picks. What do you think? Did we miss something? Are there a few films you love but we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Aditya Kaavoor Via changes have been made to the original image)

Image License: