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Last Updated: October 27, 2012  38,633 views

List of 100 Best Bollywood Hindi Art Films

in: Movies

Art-FilmsArt Films, also known as Parallel Cinema, form an integral part of Bollywood. They are an alternative to the mainstream commercial cinema especially for the people who use their brain while watching movies. Art Films are not considered to the part of mainstream cinema due to their serious content, realism and naturalism. The culture of Art Films first started in Bengali film industry by critically acclaimed filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak and others and then gained prominence in the other film industries of India including Hindi Film industry.

guruduttThe Parallel Cinema movement started in the late 1940s to the 1960s, by India’s great filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Bimal Roy, Mrinal Sen, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Chetan Anand, Guru Dutt and V. Shantaram. Real-life movies by these directors added a new perspective to the Indian movie industry. That is why this period is still considered as the Golden Age of Indian cinema. For the first time, Cinema became the mirror of the contemporary Indian society as movies which were made during this period were largely influenced from Indian Literature and current socio-political situations.

These film makers used Cinema to highlight prevalent issues. This new style of Cinema got world wide acclaim and fame. Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar (1946), a social realist film won the Grand Prize at the first Cannes Film Festival. Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin (1953) was both a commercial and critical success. Guru Dutt’s film Pyaasa (1957) featured in Time magazine’s “All-TIME” 100 best movies list.

ArthDuring the 1970s and the 1980s, parallel cinema entered into Bombay’s Hindi Film industry. This was led by such directors as Gulzar, Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Rajinder Singh Bedi and Saeed Akhtar Mirza, and later on Mahesh Bhatt and Govind Nihalani, becoming the main directors of this period’s Indian art cinema. Benegal’s directorial debut, Ankur (Seeding, 1974) was a major critical success, and was followed by numerous works that created another field in the movement. These filmmakers tried to promote realism in their own different styles, though many of them often accepted certain conventions of popular cinema.

Parallel cinema of 70s and 80s gave careers to a whole new breed of young actors, including Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Amol Palekar, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pankaj Kapoor, Deepti Naval, Farooq Shaikh etc. Actors from commercial cinema such as Rekha and Hema Malini ventured into art cinema.

Smitha Patil

Although nothing much happened during late 80 and 90s for the parallel cinema, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988) gathered a lot of National and International acclaim and is remembered till date as one of the finest Bollywood movies ever made on the daily lives of street-children of Mumbai.

salaam bombay

By the early 1990s, the rising costs involved in film production and the commercialization of the films had a negative impact on the art films. The fact that investment returns cannot be guaranteed made art films less popular amongst filmmakers. Underworld financing, political and economic turmoil, television and piracy proved to be fatal threat to parallel cinema, as it declined. However, we can still see the touch of Parallel Cinems in the movies of Mani Ratnam, Nagesh Kukunoor, Anurag Kashyap etc.

I have compiled the list of 100 Best Bollywood Hindi Art Films. Please let me know, if I am missing any good movie in this list.

  • Salaam Bombay
  • Mirch Masala
  • 36 Chowringhee Lane
  • Arohan
  • Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai
  • Raincoat
  • Ankur
  • Party 
  • Holi
  • Parzania
  • Maya Darpan
  • Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities
  • Hu Tu Tu
  • Antarnaad
  • Heaven on Earth
  • Ardh Satya
  • Chandni Bar
  • Astitva
  • Charandas Chor
  • Daman
  • Mitr, My Friend
  • Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
  • Sparsh
  • Dance of the Wind
  • Chameli
  • Dharavi
  • Bhumika: The Role
  • Arth
  • Bandit Queen
  • Bazaar 
  • Aakrosh
  • Bheja Fry
  • Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
  • The Blue Umbrella
  • Chakra
  • Dharm
  • Mandi
  • Page 3
  • Sardari Begum
  • Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!
  • Trikal
  • Duniya Na Mane
  • Ijaazat
  • Rudaali
  • Drishti
  • Dweepa
  • Fire
  • Monsoon Wedding
  • Woh Chokri
  • Hasina
  • Ek Din Pratidin
  • Khandhar
  • New Delhi Times
  • It’s Breaking News
  • Mahapurush
  • Katha
  • Manthan
  • Diksha
  • Maqbool
  • Dor
  • Genesis
  • Jane Do Bhi Yaaro
  • Utsav
  • Ek Din Achanak
  • Water
  • Firaaq
  • Nishant
  • Paar
  • Gaja Gamini
  • Ghatashraddha
  • Hari-Bhari
  • Earth
  • Joggers’ Park
  • Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
  • Junoon
  • Kalyug
  • Ek Doctor Ki Maut
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30
  • 1

    you missed rui ka bojh

    monu on February 22nd, 2013
  • 2

    missing good movie –

    GODAM , KITAB , ARVIND DESAI KI AJIB DASTAN ,
    27 DOWN , PESTANJI , Massey Sahib (Best Actor’s Award,SILVER PEACOCK,IIFI International Film Festival of India, 1987), Aasman Se Gira ,
    Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, 1993)

    tejas on February 28th, 2013
  • 3

    missing–fire,machis,aandhi,3idots,tere jammin pe,garm hawa,

    ARUN SETHI on May 24th, 2013
  • 4

    salim lande pe mat ro, manorma 1oo feet under

    afaq ahmad on June 27th, 2013
  • 5

    sahib biwi aur ghulam, do beegha zameen, khamoshi(old)

    afaq ahmad on June 27th, 2013
  • 6

    sorry…. manorma six feet under

    afaq ahmad on June 27th, 2013
  • 7

    Mr & Mrs Iyer
    Antardwand
    Umrao Jaan (Rekha)

    Yasmin M Ahmed on January 2nd, 2014
  • 8

    Current,Bada Din,Amu,Dharavi,Gangoobai,Halo, Hawa Aney Dey,Kali Salwar,Sadgati,

    jass on January 2nd, 2014
  • 9

    Dear all i want to see Libaas 1988 movie but i could not find it on net so plz tell me how could i watch this movie…
    thanks

    Amjad on January 27th, 2014
  • 10

    Dear All

    how i have to watch Libaas 1988 movie, this movie i could not find on net so any body have link of movie plz tell me.

    Amjad on January 28th, 2014
  • 11

    Maya memsab,Kmasutra,Aastha u have missed

    Sudhir on February 21st, 2014
  • 12

    Nowdays . good art film doesnt make Why is this ? and I would like to be a actor wht should i do . Thnkx

    Pawan on March 23rd, 2014
  • 13

    saransh

    jamil shaikh on March 24th, 2014
  • 14

    I AM by Onir is also artistic movie.

    Manoj on May 23rd, 2014
  • 15

    Ek ruka hua faisla is fantastic art film. you did not mentioned the name of this film

    vijay on July 1st, 2014
  • 16

    I am dreaming of creating a database of all the art movies made in India. I use your list and the films that came up in comments as reference :)

    Puru on July 19th, 2014
  • 17

    – Godhuli
    – Kondura
    – Gaharai
    – Bagh Bahadur
    – Parinati
    – Yatharth
    – Dansh – KK menon
    – Paacnch – KK menon
    – bhopal Express – kk menon
    – Being Cirus

    Nawaj Sharif on August 11th, 2014
  • 18

    my fav art films-

    1. 1084 ki maa
    2. aghaat (govind nihalani)
    3. aarohan
    4. dayra (amol palekar)
    5. parinati

    prabal on September 11th, 2014
  • 19

    You missed Zara si Zindagi, Thoda sa romani ho jaye, A Wednesday

    Arup Deb on October 7th, 2014
  • 20

    Spandan; Trishagni; Diksha; Earth; Water; Fire; Aamir;
    Saaz; Dayra;

    Panna on October 11th, 2014
  • 21

    That Girl In Yellow Boots; Kai Po Chhe; Blue Umbrella; Haider;

    Panna on October 11th, 2014
  • 22

    Gandhi 1983

    Muveen on October 13th, 2014
  • 23

    RUI KA BHOJ, current,
    Rui ka bhoj is best film.

    Rajesh on November 3rd, 2014
  • 24

    Genesis1986, Mrigya 1976,
    Sadgati,(very good series)
    kaurya.
    gaman
    The perfect murder
    sanshodhan
    Dharm
    Mati maay (marathi film)
    Shorts.

    u can watch this movies on youtube.Any good art movies kindly update. CHEERS….

    Rajesh on November 3rd, 2014
  • 25

    Missed Aurat & Thoda Sa Rumani Ho Jaye, acted by Nana Patekar also

    Vinay on December 9th, 2014
  • 26

    dharm
    darmiyaan
    damul
    thanks maa
    road to sangam
    disha by sai parnjpe
    in custody
    raghu romeo

    Abdul Razak on January 6th, 2015
  • 27

    1971 must see

    vishwajit on April 29th, 2015
  • 28

    Bawander, 1947 Earth

    Vikram on May 1st, 2015
  • 29

    1084 ki maa
    15 Park Avenue
    1947 Earth
    27 DOWN ,
    36 Chowringhee Lane
    3idots,
    A Wednesday
    Aadharshila
    Aakrosh (1980 film)
    Aamir;
    aandhi,
    aarohan
    Aasman Se Gira ,
    Aasphota
    Aastha
    Aattakatha (2013 film)
    Abhijan
    Abohoman
    Adaminte Makan Abu
    Adimadhyantham
    Agantuk
    Agantuker Pore
    Aghaat
    Agraharathil Kazhutai
    Akaler Shandhaney
    Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai
    Amu
    Anjuman (1986 film)
    Ankur
    Antarmahal
    Antarnaad
    Anthimanthaarai
    Anuranan
    Aparajito
    Aranyaka (film)
    Ardh Satya
    Arekti Premer Golpo
    Arohan
    Arth
    Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan
    Astitva
    Asukh
    Atithi (2002 film)
    Aval (film)
    Avasthe
    Avva (film)
    Bada Din,
    Bagh Bahadur
    Bandit Queen
    Bariwali
    Bawander
    Bazaar (1982 film)
    Being Cirus
    Bheja Fry
    bhopal Express kk menon
    Bhujangayyana Dashavathara
    Bhumika: The Role
    Blue Umbrella;
    Byari (film)
    Chakra
    Chameli
    Chandni Bar
    Char Adhyay
    Charandas Chor
    Charulata
    Chayilyam
    Chokher Bali (film)
    Current,
    Daman
    damul
    Dance of the Wind
    Dansh KK menon
    darmiyaan
    Dayra
    dayra (amol palekar)
    Desadanam
    Devi (1960 film)
    Dharavi
    Dharavi
    Dharm
    Dhobi Ghat (film)
    Diksha
    disha by sai parnjpe
    do beegha zameen,
    Dor
    Dosar
    Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (film)
    Drishti
    Duniya Na Mane
    Duvidha
    Dweepa
    Earth (1998 film)
    Ek Cup Chya
    Ek Din Achanak
    Ek Din Pratidin
    Ek Doctor Ki Maut
    Ek Ghar
    Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
    Ekjon Jhumur
    Ekti Nadir Naam
    Firaaq
    Fire (1996 film)
    Gaadha
    Gaharai
    Gaja Gamini
    Gaman
    Gandhi 1983
    Gangoobai,
    Garm Hava
    Genesis1986,
    Ghatashraddha
    GODAM ,
    Godhuli
    Haider;
    Halo,
    Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai
    Hari-Bhari
    Hasina
    Hawa Aney Dey,
    Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
    Heaven on Earth
    Hirer Angti
    Holi (1984 film)
    Hoomale
    Hu Tu Tu
    I AM by Onir
    I am Kalam
    Idiot (1992 film)
    Ijaazat
    in custody
    It’s Breaking News
    Iti Mrinalini
    Jalsaghar
    Jane Do Bhi Yaaro
    Joggers’ Park
    Junoon (1978 film)
    Kaadu Kudure
    Kabani Nadi Chuvannappol
    Kai Po Chhe;
    Kakana Kote
    Kali Salwar,
    Kalyug (1981 film)
    Kamla Ki Maut
    Kanchenjungha (film)
    Kanchivaram
    Kapurush
    Kasba (film)
    Katha (1983 film)
    Kathavasheshan
    kaurya.
    khamoshi(old)
    Khandhar
    Khayal Gatha
    Khosla Ka Ghosla
    KITAB ,
    Kmasutra,
    Kondura
    Kunku
    Kutty (2001 film)
    Libaas 1988
    Life! Camera Action…
    Maachis
    Mahanagar
    Mahapurush
    Main Zinda Hoon
    Malli (film)
    Mammo
    Mandi
    Mane (film)
    manorma six feet under
    Manthan
    Maqbool
    Marupakkam
    Massey Sahib ,
    Mathilukal (film)
    Mati maay (marathi film)
    Maya Darpan
    Maya memsab,
    Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities
    Meghe Dhaka Tara
    Mirch Masala
    Missed Aurat
    missing–fire,
    Mitr, My Friend
    Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!
    Monsoon Wedding
    Morning Raga
    Mr. and Mrs. Iyer
    Mrigayaa
    Mrigya 1976,
    Mysore Mallige (film)
    Neela (film)
    Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero
    New Delhi Times
    Newspaper Boy (1955 film)
    Nishant
    Om-Dar-Ba-Dar
    Omkara (2006 film)
    Onamalu
    Once Again (film)
    Ooruku Nooruper
    Oru Cheru Punchiri
    Paacnch KK menon
    Paar
    Page 3
    Pakal (film)
    Parash Pathar
    Parinati
    Paromitar Ek Din
    Parshuramer Kuthar
    Party (1984 film)
    Parzania
    Patang (film)
    Patham Nilayile Theevandi
    Pather Panchali
    Pestonjee
    Phaniyamma
    Piravi
    Pulijanmam
    Quest (2006 film)
    Raat Bhore
    raghu romeo
    Raincoat
    Rao Saheb (film)
    road to sangam
    Rudaali
    rui ka bojh
    Saaz
    Sadgati,
    sahib biwi aur ghulam,
    Salaam Bombay
    salim lande pe mat ro,
    Samar (1999 film)
    Sammohanam
    Sandhya Raagam (1989 film)
    sanshodhan
    Santha Shishunala Sharifa
    Sara Akash
    saransh
    Sardari Begum
    Sati (film)
    Shala (film)
    Shantham
    Shorts (2013 film)
    Shwaas
    Sookha
    Spandan;
    Sparsh
    Sringaram
    Sunglass (film)
    Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
    Susman (film)
    Swaham
    Tarang (film)
    Teen Kanya
    Teen Patti (film)
    tere jammin pe,
    Thalaimuraigal
    thanks maa
    That Girl In Yellow Boots
    The Blue Umbrella (2005 film)
    The Japanese Wife
    The Last Lear
    The perfect murder
    The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project
    The World of Apu
    Thoda Sa Rumani Ho Jaye,
    Through the Eyes of a Painter
    Titli (2002 film)
    Trikal
    Trishagni
    Two (1964 film)
    Unfreedom
    Unishe April
    Unnaipol Oruvan (1965 film)
    Uski Roti
    Utsav
    Vanaja (film)
    Vanaprastham
    Veedu (1988 film)
    Water (2005 film)
    Woh Chokri
    Yatharth
    Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin
    Zara si Zindagi,

    Vikram on May 1st, 2015
  • 30

    thank you for showing me some details of Rekha’s film/ picture, I shall be waiting for watching the picture like this way,

    Yours faithfully,
    BARUN KUMAR DEY

    BARUN KUMAR DEY on May 5th, 2015