wiki:Govind Nihalani

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Govind Nihalani (b. 1940)

Hindi director born in Karachi (now Pakistan) into a merchant family. During Partition, his family fled to Udaipur (1947) and then to Delhi. Studied cinematography at S.J. Polytechnic, Bangalore (1959-62). Assisted cameraman V.K. Murthy in Bombay (1962-71). An early and influential colleague was Bombay-based playwright and theatre director Satyadev Dubey, whose Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (1971) was Nihalani’s first feature as cameraman. Shot over 200 advertising films and documentaries, directing 100 more for Krishna Movies in Bombay. Also shot Benegal’s early films. Turned director in 1980. Made Tendulkar-scripted political films dealing with urban crime and official corruption. Did 2nd unit work for Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982). His box-office hit Ardh Satya, used a Dirty Harry plot which was familiar in Hindi and regional commercial cinemas (e.g. Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer, 1973, in Hindi, and S.V. Rajendra Singh’s Antha, 1981, in Kannada). Ardh Satya itself was adapted into Tamil by K. Vijayan (Kaval, 1985). Takes politically sensational topics and turns them into individual moral dilemmas, usually enacted by Om Puri. His TV serial Tamas, set during Partition, proved controversial and resulted in a court ruling asserting the right to freedom of expression on TV. Recent work mainly adaptations of stage plays to TV (Ibsen, Strindberg and Lorca). A book-length interview with Nihalani was published in 1992 (ed. Samik Bandyopadhyay).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1980: Aakrosh; 1982: Vijeta; 1983: Ardh Satya; 1984: Party; 1985: Aaghat; 1986: Tamas (TV); 1989: Jazeerey (TV); 1990: Drishti; 1991: Pita; Rukmavati Ki Haveli.

Director