Shwaas (The Breath) is a Marathi film, released in 2004. Directed by debutant Sandeep Sawant, the film was shot in 30 days. The post-production took one and half years to complete. Its storyline is based on real-life incident in Pune.

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“Shwaas could well breathe new life into the Marathi film industry,” says Ramesh Sippy

“Shwaas is a film that does not limit to the three characters but touches the human spirit from many sides. The film aims towards a very positive approach towards life altogether “- Sandeep Sawant

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In this film an old villager — Vichare (Arun Nalawade) brings his 8 year old grandson Parshuraam (Ashwin Chitale) also known as Paarsha to a doctor in Mumbai to diagnose the child’s eyes. Dr. Sane (Sandeep Kulkarni) diagnoses child as a victim of the rare retinoblastoma – a rare retinal cancer. After consulting with other colleagues in US and UK doctor finds that only way to save child’s life is to perform an operation that will leave the child blind. He cannot be operated without this knowledge as it was against ethics. The film then depicts the grandfather’s struggle to accept the reality that the only way to save his grandson is at the cost of his eyesight.

Shwaas has been applauded for scenes which depict the difficulty faced by the doctors to explain to grandfather and Parshya that nothing can be done but the truth is inevitable. It shows the medical fraternity in a very positive light, with the doctors and nurses being extremely supportive and doing the best they can, and helping the village with the best facilities.

Shwaas was India’s official entry to the 2004 Oscars and was ranked 6th in the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film category. Shwaas won the National Award for best film in 2004, nearly 50 years since a Marathi film last earned this title.  Shwaas was acknowledged as a “significant turn for Marathi cinema” which had been going through a low patch.

Shwaas-The Breath

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