Experiencing Interruptions?

Bhopal Diaries 2012

Bindu, a naive immigrant woman in Bhopal, India makes mobile videos of herself talking about everyday incidents and sends it to her husband Mohan - a soldier, away on duty protecting the nation's borders. She's a survivor of the horrific 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and as a consequence suffers from chronic chest pains. The after effects of that tragedy are so far reaching that their 4 year old child, Goku, born decades after the accident, has regular health problems due to it. Despite their poverty, physical ailments and daily challenges of life, she maintains a positive outlook and tries to project a happy image.

But her joyous facade will collapse soon in the face of a greater tragedy that awaits them...

  • Archana Borhade
    In Denial, The Essay
  • Archana Borhade
    In Denial, The Essay
  • Archana Borhade
    In Denial, The Essay
  • Sheetal Kulkarni
    Key Cast
  • Sandeep Redkar
    Key Cast
  • Alphonse Roy
    Director of Photography
    Aamir, Gulaab Gang, Gour Hari Dastaan
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    1,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital IPhone 5S
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Talenthouse Film Festival 2015
    Westin Hotel, Mumbai India
    June 18, 2015
    Best Short Film Best Story Best Director Best Actress
  • Short Takes 5 Contest 2015
    Mumbai India
    Grand Jury Prize
  • 12th Indisches Film Festival, Stuttgart
    Metropol Cinema, Stuttgart City
    July 18, 2015
    European Premiere
  • Manhattan Short Festival
    Matterden, Lower Parel, Mumbai
    September 30, 2015
    Special Mention Award
  • Shaan-e-Awadh International Film Festival
    November 7, 2015
  • YuppTV contest
    December 24, 2015
    Top 5 Best Short Film
  • Smita Patil International Film Festival
    December 12, 2015
    Special Mention Award
  • Mumbai International Film Festival 2016
    January 29, 2016
  • Maharashtra International Film Festival 2016
    March 27, 2016
    Best Short FIlm, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Actress
Director Biography - Archana Borhade

Archana Borhade is an Indian director and cinematographer.

Born in Mumbai (India) in 1982, she excelled in academics and arts, winning science scholarships and drawing competitions with equal ease. She graduated with top honors in Information Technology Engineering from Mumbai University in 2004.

She worked at Wipro Technologies, India as a SAP consultant for 2 years before making a career shift to filmmaking in late 2007. She worked as a 1st AC, gaffer, associate and second unit cinematographer on several prestigious Bollywood films, ranging from low budget indie Aamir(2007) to big budget blockbuster, My name is Khan(2010).

Since 2012, she has shot several commercials, corporate films, shorts and music videos as an independent Director of Photography. She has also shot and directed several short documentaries for the India chapter of international NGO, Ashoka – Innovators for the Public.

As and when the idea strikes and the resources permit her, she writes, produces and directs short films and commercials. Her first short film, In Denial (2010) was much appreciated while her second short, The Essay(2011) won the Jury award at Gorbatschow Vodka Shorts Festival.

In 2014, she started her own independent production house, Nine Archers Pictures. Currently, she has a web series, two short films and an independent feature film under development.

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Director Statement

About a year ago while researching online for my feature film script, I came across a 2012 BBC report on YouTube investigating the illegal drug trials in India conducted on the poor and uneducated people in Bhopal. As I saw the video, I was shocked to find that many of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims and their long suffering families had been specifically chosen for such trials. I researched further only to realize that most of the Indian media hadn’t taken cognizance of this incident, much less investigated it and this massive case of blatant human rights violation had been buried successfully.

The drug trials had supposedly begun in 2008 and as per a few obscure online news articles, ceased in late 2013. The majority of the perpetrators – doctors, medical representatives, foreign pharmaceutical companies were never brought to justice and a few low level employees of the concerned hospitals were handed meager fines for their participation. Till date, no personnel has given an adequate reason as to why the Bhopal gas victims had been chosen for these trials.

The official number of deaths due to these trials has never been confirmed but as per NGO data, it could easily be a couple of thousand innocent people. If not dead, many drug trial victims were left incapacitated or handicapped for the rest of their lives; some of them are children who were only a few days old when the trial drug was first administered to them.

As I kept reading and re-reading the limited information on these trials, I felt a surge of anger and despair well up inside of me. How could anyone be so cruel and inflict such horror upon victims who have already suffered through one of the worst industrial disaster of all times, The Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984? Just imagining what those helpless people would have gone through made me shudder to the core. That’s when I decided to make this short film. While the protagonist in the film is completely fictional, the experiences she narrates are based on true events.

I hope that this short film reaches as many people as possible and brings awareness about the lesser-known inhuman drug trial tragedy of Bhopal.