indian cinema heritage foundation

Bandit Queen (1994)

  • Release Date1994
  • GenreAction, Biography, Crime, History
  • FormatColor
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time119 mins
  • Gauge35mm
  • Censor RatingA

On the 12th of January 1983, India's most famous and most feared outlaw surrendered to the police.

This outlaw stood accused on many counts of murder kidnapping, including the killing of 30 men. A massacre that became infamous as the Behmai Massacre. A massacre that brought down an  .......

This outlaw was a woman. He name was Phoolan Devi, The Goddess of Flowers, India's Bandit Queen.

Phoolan Devi with her gang surrendered at her own term, negotiated by a police force that was unable to ...... Terms that did her honour. In front of a cheering crowd of 10,000 people. People that considered her an avenging angel who was the scourge of the high castes and the riche and protector of the low castes and the poor.

In the 5 years that Phoolan Devi ruled the ravines that surrounded the river Chambal, nobody knew what she looked like. The media hyped her into a raven haired, blue eyed beauty built like an amazon. She turned out to be smaller than an average woman with very common features.

What made this rather diminutive girl into the legend that she is today? Was she just an ordinary low caste woman who was kidnaped by the bandits at the behest of high caste louts to whom she denied sexual favours? A product of media hype as Phoolan claimed in her defence? Or was she really the fiery, dangerous woman that terrorized the ruling high case people? What is the truth behind the legend?

Based on the dictated prison diaries of Phoolan Devi herself the film tries, for the first time, to discover the truth.


[from the official press booklet]