The Naxalites (1980)
(Certified: Sep 5, 1980)
Real political drama about the Naxalbari peasant uprising and student movement borrows from several real-life characters including Ajitha (Smita Patil), an activist from Kerala, Charu Majumdar (Palsikar) et al. The complexities of the historical issues are reduced to an interplay of simplistic attitudes while the sensationalist aspects are intensified (e.g. police torture shown in silhouette). Movie efforts to convey an insight into the historical events have been replaced by efforts to manipulate the viewers emotions, as in the sequence where Majumdars speech reverberates through the countryside while the police gather for the final assault, or in the finale, where Ajitha walks to the gallows to the farewells of her fellow inmates. The reason why young people became part of the Naxilite movements are presented in titillating images of rape, torture and corruption, with the sexual threats to women providing the main motive for male rebelliousness.