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Dalit History Month: From Jai Bhim to Seththumaan, here are six Tamil films that you must watch

Dalit History Month is celebrated by the followers of BR Ambedkar around the world, in April. OTTplay recommends six Tamil films that highlight the caste menace

Dalit History Month: From Jai Bhim to Seththumaan, here are six Tamil films that you must watch
dalit history month

Last Updated: 06.12 PM, Apr 06, 2024


The Dalit History Month is celebrated during the month of April. An annual observance which is inspired by Black History Month, Dalit History Month is celebrated by the followers of BR Ambedkar around the world in April. The significance is to address the historical and systematic oppression of Dalits. Festivals and film screenings are organised during this period to highlight the pressing issue and raise awareness. 

While films have been an integral part of this, filmmakers like Pa Ranjith and Mari Selvaraj have championed the movement of bringing in such tales told in a poignant and respectful manner, which has shaped a new facet of Tamil cinema. On that note, OTTplay recommends the below titles that you can stream right now, for your understanding. You can watch the films on OTTplay Premium as well.

Witness - SonyLIV

Directed by cinematographer Deepak, Witness is a poignant courtroom drama that talks about a mother’s struggle to attain justice for the death of her son who was employed as a manual scavenger. The film is headlined by Rohini Molleti and Shraddha Srinath. Manual scavenging has been forever an assigned job for Dalits and lowered caste, who are relegated to cleaning the sewers without protective measures. This has caused the death of many and Witness captures them in the true sense.

Pariyerum Perumal - Prime Video


The film marks the directorial debut of Mari Selvaraj, who later went on to helm films such as Karnan and Maamannan. Starring Kathir and Kayal Anandhi, Pariyerum Perumal is about a man from the oppressed background who reaches a town college to study law. However, as he falls in love with a classmate from a dominant caste, the film captures the discrimination he is subjected to.

Seththumaan - SonyLIV

Seththumaan is directed by Thamizh and is based on the novel by Perumal Murugan. The film follows the lives of an old man and his grandson who live away from the town. One day, they are tasked with the service of cooking pork for some men in the village. Pigs are often considered dirty and below the status of many, and cooking is frowned upon as much as eating pork. Seththumaan was well-received in the festival circuit.

Nenjuku Needhi - SonyLIV

A remake of the Hindi film Article 15, Nenjuku Needhi stars Udhayanidhi Stalin, Tanya Ravichandran and others. The film talks about the police procedural after a few girls from the oppressed community were found assaulted and murdered. Directed by Arunraja Kamaraj, the film highlights the abuse women from lowered caste are subjected too, both on the grounds of their gender and caste.

Natchathiram Nagargiradhu - Netflix

This film marks one of the few instances when a Dalit woman is the protagonist of the film. Played by Dushara Vijayan, the film is directed by Pa Ranjith. It follows Rene, a theatre artist who along with her troupe stages a play on how love marriages are perceived by parents who are swayed by caste blindness. Kalidas Jayaram, Kalaiarasan, and Dancing Rose Shabeer play the supporting roles.

Jai Bhim - Prime Video

Headlined by Suriya, Lijomol Jose and Manikandan, Jai Bhim is based on true incidents. The courtroom drama follows after a group of tribals are falsely accused of stealing and undergo custodial torture. It is based on a case fought by Justice Chandru. Suriya backed the film under his banner and became one of the first Tamil films to have a direct OTT premiere. Jai Bhim is directed by TJ Gnanavel. Many were disappointed after the film did not bag the National Film Awards.

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