film directed by Shekhar Kapur
, starring Seema Biswas
as Phoolan Devi
aka The Bandit Queen. The film claims to be a true story (they even put it in text at the beginning of the film: "This is a True Story
.") but has received much criticism for not only playing fast and loose with the facts
, but for focusing so much on rape that parts of the film border on pornographic.
The attitude toward rape bothered many people as well, especially Arundhati Roy who wrote a scathing pair of articles about the film titled The Great Indian Rape-Trick (parts 1 & 2). To quote: "Rape is the main dish. Caste is the sauce that it swims in." and "Bandit Queen -the film, does not make a case against Rape. It makes its case against the Rape of nice (read moral), women." These articles led to several lawsuits against Arundhati Roy.
This film has had so many lawsuits and counter lawsuits that they are hard to keep track of. It was banned in India for awhile, but not anymore. Phoolan Devi herself was never consulted in the making of the film and has brought lawsuits against the filmmaker for libel.
A much better source of information about Poolan Devi is the book India's Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi by Mala Sen.