Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world in terms of number of movies produced every year. However, apart from all the hits, flops and the average, there exists another brand of Indian cinema which is deliberately kept out of our reach. Films that indulge in bold language, vulgar scenes, gender taboos, religion and basically movies which are way ahead of its time. However, thanks to the strong presence of digital media, some movies can now be streamed online.
Here is the list of 10 of the best films that are banned by CBFC, but you can watch on OTT platforms.
1- UNFREEDOM – NETFLIX
The trailer of this movie was sharp, unapologetic and powerful. Unfreedom is a modern-day thriller which talks about a lesbian love story entangled within an Islamic terrorism-related angle. Bringing together two ‘taboos’ in one package, the Censor Board could not digest the nudity and the lovemaking scenes between the two protagonists. The movie was accused of “igniting unnatural passions” and hence was denied release in India, except for a few states.
2- ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES – NETFLIX
Angry Indian Goddesses never faced a ban from the CBFC, but the producers of the movie wanted the public to see what they had made, but couldn’t present it in the theaters. So, they released all those sequences the Censor Board “censored” as a well edited video on Facebook.
3- GANDU – NETFLIX
If you expected anything else from a movie named ‘Gandu’, you’d definitely be disappointed. The Bengali movie was a rap musical which created a lot of buzz for its oral sex scenes and nudity. Shot in white and black format, the movie was banned because it ‘defied Indian sensibilities’.
4- FIRE – YOUTUBE
In today’s time, some people are still uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality and back then it was worse than this. Hence, it was difficult for Fire to survive in the time that it was released (1996). The movie was denied approval for release by the censor board since it was based on again sensitive topics like homosexuality and religion. But, the film was received everywhere else and received multiple accolades too.
5- WATER – YOUTUBE
Water is another Deepa Mehta movie which courted a lot of controversy because of its dark insights on the life of the Indian widow. Starring John Abraham and Nandita Das, the story revolved around the life of a Banarasi widow, how she’s ill-treated for no fault of hers and also finds love, which again is considered a big NO in some rural parts of India. Due to this subject, the shooting of the film was banned following a protest by Hindu fundamentalists. However, the movie is available on YouTube.
6- KISSA KURSI KA – YOUTUBE
The movie faced fire for drawing parallels with the life of Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. The film was set to be released in 1978, during the year of the emergency. It was a time when Congress also had control over the media releases and all reels for the film were confiscated. If you want to watch the film, it’s available on YouTube.
7- LOEV – NETFLIX
This movie talks about the life of a gay couple and was released back in 2015, but only on Netflix. The makers of the film tried to release it in theaters, but nothing worked in their favour. The film talks about the budding romance of two friends who are now in totally different phases of life.
8- INSHALLAH, FOOTBALL – YOUTUBE SUBSCRIPTION
Inshallah, Football is a documentary about a Kashmiri boy who aspires to travel abroad and become a famous footballer someday. However, the boy is denied travelling outside the country because his father is charged with militancy. This film was intended to bring out the problems civilians face due to the insurgencies and militancy in the Kashmir Valley, but the purpose was defeated as it was denied the necessary censor certificate because of its sensitive subject.
9- PARZANIA – HOTSTAR
Parzania cut open the wounds of Gujarat’s scarred past, and received backlash and appreciation in equal amounts. The film was based on a superb plot which revolved around a boy called Azhar who goes missing during the Gujarat riots in the year 2002. Even though the film won a National Award, its cinematic excellence was not considered enough for political parties to let it screen in Gujarat, where it was fiercely banned.
10- BLACK FRIDAY – HOTSTAR
Loosely adapted from the famous book Black Friday – The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts, Anurag Kashyap’s movie was considered too dark to be released in India. This movie received appreciation from critics around the world but was banned from being released in India. The film is based on the 1995 blasts and its investigation. It never released on the big screen, but you can watch it on Hotstar now.
11- KAMA SUTRA – A TALE OF LOVE – YOUTUBE
In 1996, Mira Naire did not feel that the nation of Cadetsu’s deities in the caverns and sanctuaries of the nation would be restricted by this nation. To be completely forthright, the film couldn’t be appeared on the extra large screen in right sincere on the grounds that the film has a surge of suggestive scenes, which was wrong to see with the family. Yet, this film on YouTube has been seen more than once as well as ordinarily.