“I wanted to make the invisibles visible,” says filmmaker Anubhav Sinha on his reasons for taking on the subject of migrant workers and giving it life on celluloid. His recently released film Bheed (crowd) is a social drama set during the events of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns in India. The film, an account of the largest migration in India—since Partition—from various parts of the country towards Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, has got rave reviews, especially for the performance of lead actor Rajkumar Rao. Sinha, originally from Jamalpur, Bihar, moved to Mumbai in 1990 to pursue filmmaking, and can now boast of an impressive filmography. His movies such as Article 15, Mulk, and Thappad have received critical acclaim for deftly tackling subjects like caste, communalism and patriarchy.
Edited excerpts from an interview with Haima Deshpande in Mumbai.