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10 Oscar-Winning Movies That You Absolutely Need To Watch

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By Tanmaya Raj:

Since the beginning of the film making era, numerous incredible movies have been filmed, which have left the viewers astounded. However, there are certain movies which surpass the others in the field of direction, cinematography, plot and viewer rating. Some of these ‘forever young’ Oscar winning movies in the order of their release dates are:


All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Director: Lewis Milestone
Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

The film, adapted from a novel by a German author, Erich Maria Remarque, revolves around a group of schoolboys, who enrol themselves in the beginning of World War I. It highlights the tragedies and brutalities of war as experienced by the boys. The film highlights the futility of war, underlining the fact that it only causes destruction and misery.

gone with the wind

Gone with the Wind (1939)
Director: Victor Fleming
Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O’Neil

This is the movie that established Clarke Gable as an unparalleled actor. The chemistry between Scarlett and Ashley still sizzles on the screen, making the movie a must watch for all those romantics out there.

cast pub still - all about eve 1950

All About Eve (1950)
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

This is an unforgettable story of ambition and betrayal. It has become one of the most legendary stories of human emotions. Aspiring actress Eve Harrington storms into the lives of Broadway star Margo Channing, playwright Lloyd Richards and director Bill Sampson. And thus starts a saga of love, hate and betrayal.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Director: David Lean
Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

The highlight of this heart-warming movie is its new and exceptional storyline. The movie is about the construction of a bridge by the British prisoners of war. The main purpose of the bridge is to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway and the prisoners plan to sabotage the bridge. However, their leader Colonel Nicholson persuades them that the bridge should be constructed as a symbol of British morale and dignity. The movie gives a new dimension to characterization, and is a must watch for all those who love the myriad colours of human psyche.

Poster - Sound of Music

The Sound of Music (1965)
Director: Robert Wise
Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker

This one set the trend for many forthcoming romantic movies. The movie is based on the life of Maria, who has been failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. She is hired by the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp as a governess for his mischievous children. Eventually love blossoms between the two. The immortal songs of the movie are still played by romantics all over the world.


The Godfather (1972)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Mario Puzo (screenplay), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan

This is one movie that set the theatres on fire. The story is focused on the life of Don Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia family. It begins with him overseeing his daughter’s wedding and encompasses his beloved son’s life as well. The Don is kind to the ones who respect him but ruthless towards those who stand in his way. The manner in which this movie describes various events makes it an all-time thriller that has the power to raise goose bumps, even after four decades.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Director: Milos Forman
Writers: Lawrence Hauben (screenplay), Bo Goldman (screenplay)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and Michael Berryman

Based on the character of McMurphy, the movie laid down the foundation of glorifying the war between injustice and justice. McMurphy, who has a criminal past, gets himself into trouble, but pleads insanity. He is sent to the mentally unstable ward where he had to withstand and witness the tyrannical behaviour of nurse Ratched. The movie focuses on how he and the other inmates form an alliance to stand against injustice.


The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Director Jonathan Demme
Writers: Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Lawrence A. Bonney

This is a hair-raising thriller that makes one chew his/her nails right till the end. The movie involves an FBI agent, Clarice Starling, who has to find and save a woman from a psychopathic killer. Clarice takes another approach to the case by talking to another psychopath, Lecter. It is believed that Lecter can answer the questions but for that, the agent needs to win his confidence. The plot of the movie keeps the viewer interested till the very last scene.


Gladiator (2000)
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni (story), David Franzoni (screenplay)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nielsen

The movie is a historical saga that holds a universal appeal. An eye-catching movie revolving around a powerful Roman general Maximus, who was chosen as the heir by the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. This leads to a series of events which eventually leads to the loss of Maximus’ family and places him in the Gladiator games. The desire to rise to the top and the thirst for revenge keeps him alive and restores his will power.

beautiful mind

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Sylvia Nasar (book)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly

This one is a must watch for all those who are fascinated by the labyrinth of human mind. It is a biopic of a famed mathematician John Nash who wanted to form a new, unique mathematical theorem. Over time however, John begins to lose his grip on reality, and is eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. He withdrew from the society, however, his research and training later earned him the Nobel Prize in economics. The movie provides a soft warmth, which only a human mind can conceive.

The Oscars are almost here and trust me when I say that you cannot afford to miss these titles.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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