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The Best Documentaries About India

Updated April 23, 2021 208 votes 43 voters 7.8k views

List RulesDocumentary films about the country of India and all things Indian.

This list of the best documentaries about India has been ranked by the community and includes popular and recognizable titles, along with independent films. What is the best documentary about India? Vote up your favorites below.

As you vote, the order of the list will be changed to see which documentary about India comes out on top. If you do not see your favorite on the list, add it along with the titles below so that others can vote on it as well. This list currently includes titles such as Fire in the Blood, Superman of Malegaon, and Celluloid Man.

Documentaries are nonfiction and made with the intention of displaying reality for historical purposes and to educate those watching the film. Most documentaries are driven by independent filmmakers and those passionate about the topics they are portraying.
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  • 1

    Fire in the Blood

    26
    4
    Fire in the Blood is a 2012 documentary film written and directed by Dylan Mohan Gray....  more
  • 2
    Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids is a 2004 Indian-American documentary film about the children of prostitutes in Sonagachi, Kolkata's red light district. The widely acclaimed film,...  more
  • 3

    Bomgay

    Rahul Bose, Kunal Kapoor
    11
    2

    Released1996

    Directed byRiyad Vinci Wadia

    "Based on the queer poetry of R. Raj Rao, "BOMGaY" is a collection of six vignettes that depict the underground gay identity of 90s urban India" Quoting the description from the 2010 Kashish-Mumbai...  more
  • 4

    Celluloid Man

    10
    2
    Celluloid Man is a 2012 documentary film directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur that explores the life and work of legendary Indian archivist P. K. Nair, founder of the National Film Archive of India...  more
  • 5

    Powerless

    9
    2
    Katiyabaaz is a 2014 Indian Hindi documentary film directed by Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa about the problem of power theft in Kanpur. Released in India on August 22, 2014, the film is shot in...  more
  • 6

    The Rat Race

    9
    2
    The Rat Race is a 2011 documentary drama film written by Arghya Lahiri, Mathew Menacherry, and Miriam Chandy Menacherry, and directed by Miriam Chandy Menacherry...
  • 7
    One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das is a 2012 documentary film directed by Jeremy Frindel about Krishna Das, the U.S. vocalist best known for is performances of Indian devotional music called...  more
  • 8

    Cherub of the Mist

    0
    0
    Cherub of the Mist is a documentary film based on the life of two Red pandas, namely, Mini and Sweety, who were released into the Singalila National Park in the Darjeeling District, India. The...  more
  • 9

    Mystic India

    Rupak Mehta, Latesh Patel
    7
    0

    Released2005

    Directed byKeith Melton

    Mystic India is a 2004 large format film about India's culture, people, and traditions. It is told through the 12,000 km barefoot journey throughout 18th century India undertaken by the Hindu...  more
  • 10

    Riding Solo to the Top of the World

    0
    2
    Riding Solo to the Top of the World is a documentary film on the Chang pas of Ladakh, in India, about a journey of self-discovery....  more
  • 11

    The House That Ananda Built

    3
    2
    The House That Ananda Built is a 1968 Indian short documentary film directed by Fali Bilimoria. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short....  more
  • 12
    Gotoma the Buddha is a 1956 Indian documentary film directed by Rajbans Khanna. It was entered into the 1957 Cannes Film Festival, where it won a Special Mention for Best Director and was nominated...  more
  • 13
    Shores of Silence: Whale Sharks in India is a landmark film by Mike Pandey that brought about major legislative changes to protect whale sharks worldwide. This documentary depicts the needless...  more
  • 14

    A Little Dream

    Shobana
    0
    0

    Released2008

    Directed byP. Dhanapal

    A Little Dream is a 60-minute documentary film in English capturing the journey of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's life from Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was produced by Minveli Media...  more
  • 15

    Supermen of Malegaon

    8
    0
    Supermen of Malegaon is a 2008 documentary film directed by Faiza Ahmad Khan....  more
  • 16
    The Sun Behind the Clouds looks at China's occupation of Tibet from the perspective of the vocally secessionist Tibetan youth, and from that of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whose reaction...  more
  • 17

    Children of the Pyre

    2
    0
    Children of the Pyre is a 2008 documentary film directed by Rajesh S. Jala....  more
  • 18

    Journey from Zanskar

    6
    0
    Journey From Zanskar is a 2010 documentary film written, produced, and directed by Frederick Marx, for Warrior Films. It tells the emotional story of 17 small children who leave home and family,...  more
  • 19

    Naga Story: The Other Side of Silence

    0
    2
    Naga Story: The Other Side of Silence is a 2003 documentary film by Indian film maker Gopal Menon. The film provides an introduction to the history of the Struggle by Naga people in North- East...  more
  • 20

    A Pestering Journey

    0
    0
    A Pestering Journey is a documentary film directed by K.R. Manoj. A voyage through two similar pesticide tragedies in post independent India, Pestering Journey interrogates the legitimate forms and...  more
  • 21

    Rangbhoomi

    K. N. Singh, Nigar Sultana
    8
    0

    Released1946

    Directed byMohan Dayaram Bhavnani

    Rangbhoomi is a 1946 mystery crime fiction film directed by Mohan Dayaram Bhavnani....
  • 22

    Papa 2

    2
    0
    Papa 2 is a film about the notorious interrogation centre, Papa 2. This interrogation center was run by the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir till 1996. Officially, over 2000 - unofficially, over 8000 -...  more
  • 23

    Jai Bhim Comrade

    2
    2
    Jai Bhim Comrade is a 2011 documentary film written and directed by Anand Patwardhan....  more
  • 24

    Amar Lenin

    0
    0
    Amar Lenin is a 1970 black and white documentary film directed by legendary film director Ritwik Ghatak made for Government of West Bengal in the centenary year of the birth of Vladimir Lenin. The...  more
  • 25

    Salma

    0
    2
    Salma is a 2013 drama, biographical, and family documentary film written by Oliver Huddleston and directed by Kim Longinotto....