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Unfreedom Movie Poster 2015.jpg
Directed by Raj Amit Kumar
Produced by Raj Amit Kumar
Written by Raj Amit Kumar
Damon J Taylor
Starring Victor Banerjee
Adil Hussain
Bhanu Uday
Preeti Gupta
Bhavani Lee
Ankur Vikal
Seema Rahmani
Samrat Chakrabarti
Music by Wayne Sharpe
Jesse Kotansky
Cinematography Hari Nair
Edited by Atanu Mukherjee
Dark Frames
69 Productions
Release date
  • December 2014 (2014-12) (Kerala International Film Festival)[1]
  • 29 May 2015 (2015-05-29)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Unfreedom (Hindi: Dagh Ujala) is a 2014 Indian drama film by Raj Amit Kumar,[2] which was released in North America on 29 May 2015.[3] Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem, "Ye Dagh Dagh Ujala", is the inspiration behind the film.[4] The film stars Victor Banerjee,[5] Adil Hussain.[6] and Preeti Gupta.[7]

The story revolves around a Muslim fundamentalist in New York who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar with an intent to kill, while a closeted lesbian in New Delhi kidnaps her bisexual lover with the intent to love. The resulting torture and violence evokes a brutal struggle of identities against "unfreedom".[8]


Set in two different cities, New York and New Delhi,[9] the film approaches sexuality and violence head on with a focus on the Muslim and LGBT identities.[10]

In New York arrives a fundamentalist Muslim Mohammed Hussain (Bhanu Uday), imprisoned by his brutal past, on a mission to kidnap and kill a peaceful Muslim scholar, Fareed Rahmani (Victor Banerjee).[11] “The choices we make, when we are most cornered in life, define who we are.” Once they come face to face, the only way out is through a true examination of the bare bones of each one's existence to make a choice.[12]

In New Delhi, Leela Singh (Preeti Singh), a closeted homosexual girl leaves her orthodox cop father Devraj Singh (Adil Hussain)'s home with a mission to kidnap her activist bisexual lover, Sakhi Taylor (Bhavani Lee) and marry her.[13] Not only do the lovers need to come to terms with their own differences, they need to face Devraj,[14] the truth of the society they live in.

Set in the most archetypal cities of economic and patriarchal control, four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in a battle of identities against unfreedom. "Unfreedom" examines the struggle between the powerful and powerless and those who strive to stand against dominating torturing socio political injustices.[15]



Hari Nair is the cinematographer of the film[20] with Wayne Sharpe[21] and Jesse Kotansky composing the soundtrack. Resul Pookutty[22] did the sound design. Deepa Bajaj, who also was the post-production producer, worked on the publicity campaign and distribution of the film.

In India, the Central Board of Film Certification refused to certify the movie for public release in India.[23]


In India, the film was refused certification by the Examining Committee. A revising committee of the Censor Board proposed cuts to the director, Raj Amit Kumar. He refused and appealed against the Censor Board's demand for cuts to the Indian Government's Information and Broadcasting Appellate Tribunal FCAT. In response to his appeal, the authorities completely banned the film regardless of cuts.[24] The news of the ban gained widespread coverage in the media.[25][26]

In a video released on April 9, 2015 on YouTube, Raj Amit Kumar states that the Censor Board should rate or certify a movie, instead of banning and offering cuts. He also said that he would keep sending signed petitions to the Prime Minister and Censor Board, until there is a real change. The director is seeking support from people who believe in freedom of speech.[27]


  1. ^ https://in.news.yahoo.com/banned-india-unfreedom-released-north-america-054618002.html |2015-02-11
  2. ^ "American Indian director Amit to make BLEMISHED LIGHT". 6 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dark Frames to Release 'Unfreedom,' Starring Victor Banerjee". 10 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Victor Banerjee to star in Blemished Light". 6 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "'Today, no one respects age, experience, talent or discipline'". 17 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Grey Matter – Bollywood's latest discovery – Adil Hussain seeks complex roles in the industry'". 28 December 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Raj Amit Kumar to use crowdfunding campaign to release his film, Unfreedom". 17 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Life of Pi's Hussain is thankful". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Victor signs Indian-American director's film". 6 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Victor Banerjee plays a Muslim scholar in 'Blemished Light'". 5 March 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Victor Banerjee to Star in Patriotic 'Blemished Light'". 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Film Shoot Fiasco at Queer Pride March". The Times of India. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Different Strokes – Adil Hussain plays a dark character". 7 December 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Samrat Chakrabarti's experience with Kamal Haasan and Victor Banerjee". The Times of India. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "I am fortunate I am still fresh" Upcoming movies of Bhanu Uday". 17 July 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Preeti Gupta: A bold portrayal". 
  18. ^ "Actor Bhavani Lee shoots for 'Blemished Light'". 25 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "American Indian director Amit to make BLEMISHED LIGHT". 17 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Hit by the shutter bug". The Times of India. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "Wayne Sharpe: American composer in Bollywood". CNN. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "America has banned more films than India: Resul Pookutty". Hindustan Times. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Film on Homosexuality UnFreedom Banned in India". Outlook. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "BOARD BANS FILM ON GAYS, CLAIMS IT'LL IGNITE 'UNNATURAL PASSION'". Mumbai Mirror. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "After Unfreedom Ban, filmmakers come together in the fight against Censorship". Times Now. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Film review: Un-Freedom". Batori. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "'Unfreedom' director calls for freedom of expression". Times of India. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 

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