A country of many languages and cultures, India has witnessed the making of some of the greatest patriotic movies depicting the freedom movement in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam and other languages. Over a period of time, such movies have built the feelings of patriotism and nation building in the minds of the people.
Kannada industry which was formed back in the 1920s made several feature films based on the pre-independence period. But it was in the 1950s that Kannada films based on social issues along with genres like sentiments, melodrama incorporating song and dance sequences were produced. Initially directors, Hunsur Krishnamurthy, BR Panthulu made films on the life of freedom fighters like Kittur Rani Chennamma, Sindhoora Lakshmana and Kranthiveera Sangolli Rayanna. Though some movies did not have the storyline based on the freedom movement or freedom fighters, they at least brought out the spirit of patriotism through their songs and dance scenes.
'Nagarahavu': The song which potrays Jayanthi as Onake Obbava in Kannada Nadina Veerarmaniyara...Chitradurgada Kalina Kotte... in the film, Nagarahavu recalls how Hindu woman fought bravely before independence. Even after all these years, the song is cherished by one and all.
'Kittur Rani Chennamma': Film, Kittur Rani Chennamma which was released in 1962 had B Saroja Devi playing the role of Chennamma in the flick. The film talks about the queen of princely state of Kittur, Rani Chennamma and her rebellion against the Britishers for the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ in 1824. The film was directed by BR Panthulu.
'Veera Sindhoora Lakshmana': Another well known film was Veera Sindhoora Lakshmana, which saw its release in the year 1977.
Kannada actor Sudhir played the role of Lakshmana, another freedom fighter who fought against the rule of Britishers in India. The movie directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy was a major hit during those days.
'Thayi Saheba': Film Thayi Saheba was based on a brahmin family during the pre and post Independence period. This film narrated the transition in the Indian society from the pre independence to the post independence period, which also throws light on the social conditions of women during that period. Jayamala played the role of Thayi Saheba in the film.
Other patriotic films: Films like 'School Master' (1958), 'Sipayi Ramu' (1971) which had Dr Rajkumar playing the lead, 'Antha' with Rebel Star Ambareesh, 'Hagalu Vesha' (2000), 'America America' (1995) talks about patriotism among Kannadigas in bits and pieces. Muthina Hara directed by Rajendra Singh Babu and released in 1990 was considered one of the best Sandalwood patriotic movies produced in Kannada. The film is set in the 1940s and talks about the soldier Achappa from Madikeri fights in World War II and in India’s war against Pakistan and China.
The film had Vishnuvardhan and Suhasini playing the leads, which was a blockbuster hit at the box office.
Recent flicks: Recently, we had film, 'Shikari '(2012) directed by Abhay Simha. Starring Mammootty, 'Shikari' embedded the seed of patriotism among the audience. Challenging Star Darshan who has 'Yodha' (2009) (a patriotic film based on a Commando) to his credit will soon be seen in another film titled 'Kranthiveera Sangolli Rayanna', which talks about a prominent freedom fighter. The film directed by Naganna and produced by Anand Appugol will see Jayaprada appearing as Chennamma. The film, which was slated for release on August 15 has now been postponed to September.