6 Excellent Films Based on India-Pakistan Partition

·3-min read

The new Netflix film Sardar Ka Grandson starring Arjun Kapoor and Neena Gupta is the heartwarming story of a man trying to make his grandmother happy by bringing back her home from another country, in this case, Pakistan. While the India-Pakistan Partition is a very sensitive subject in our history, many films have been able to correctly capture the essence and aftermath of the event.

Take a look at some excellent partition-themed films to watch after Sardar Ka Grandson.

Garam Hava

Directed by MS Sathyu and written by Kaifi Azmi and Shama Zaidi, Garam Hava portrays the struggles of a Muslim family that decides to stay back in India after the partition. This movie stars Balraj Sahni, Gita Siddharth and Farooq Shaikh in the lead roles. Garam Hawa is arguably still one of the best films made on partition. The sensitivity and the accuracy with which the film treated its characters was commendable.

1947 Earth

Deepa Mehta’s 1947 Earth stars Nandita Das, Aamir Khan and Rahul Khanna in the lead roles. This movie is from the point of view of a 9-year-old Parsi girl whose nanny, a Hindu woman, is caught up in a love triangle among two Muslim men at the time of partition. Touted to be one of the best works of Mehta, 1947 Earth brings many layers to the story that we have heard so many times before. 1947 Earth finds a place in every list about great partition films.

Train to Pakistan

As tensions of partition are high, a train arrives from Pakistan to a peaceful village in Punjab, disrupting harmony. This movie is directed by Pamela Rooks and stars Nirmal Pandey, Rajit Kapur, Mohan Agashe, Smriti Mishra, Mangal Dhillon and Divya Dutta among others. This is a film that actually did justice to Khushwant Singh’s classic on which it was based. The performances in the film were widely appreciated.

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha

Directed by Anil Sharma and starring Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel, this movie revolves around a Sikh truck driver who falls in love with a rich Muslim woman at the time of partition when communal riots among Sikhs and Muslims were at its peak. Even though Gadar is a massy entertainer where we see Deol’s larger-than-life personality, it is a love story at heart. It was also a millennial kids’ initiation to partition films.


Pinjar tells the story of a Hindu woman who is abducted by a Muslim man due to a rivalry between their families. This movie was directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi and stars Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpayee in the pivotal roles. Women were the biggest victims of the 1947 partition violence and this film deals with the delicate subject matter with absolute sensitivity.

Midnight’s Children

Two babies born on the same day India attained independence, are swapped at the hospital. This movie was directed by Deepa Mehta and stars Satya Bhabha in a lead role. Salman Rushdie’s award-winning novel must have been hard to turn into a nuanced two-hour film, which it is. Midnight’s Children is an eye opener in many ways is rooted in reality.

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