Facets Cinémathèque

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November 28–Dec. 4, 2014

Chicago Premiere

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

Film still: Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain


"Affecting... builds suspensefully to its inevitable tragic outcome"
  —Film Journal Intl
"Although the real-life events took place three decades ago, the cautionary tale could not be more relevant"
  —Los Angeles Times
Recommended "Stirring"
  —NewCity Chicago
"Informative, heartfelt, and interesting for its Brechtian portrayal of [executive Warren] Anderson as a man so good at lying to his workers that he almost convinces himself"
  —Chicago Reader

Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) a rickshaw driver in Bhopal, India, lands himself a job at the Union Carbide plant. The job is tough with long hours and everyone is desperate for work, so he keeps quiet until he notices that managers at the plant are ignoring safety standards. Dilip's best friend, Motwani (Kal Penn), a tabloid journalist, knows that Bhopal residents complain of the constant stench in the air and wake up at night choking from the gas. He is on a mission to expose what he believes is a deadly time bomb, but feels that no one will listen to him, but when he meets Eva Gascon (Mischa Barton) a Paris Match journalist, he persuades her to confront Carbide executive Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen).

As Eva and Motwani endeavor to expose Carbide's nefarious activities, Dilip is also trying to pay for his sister's wedding. On the night of the wedding, everyone is having a great time, but then one by one, the guests start to feel sick, as the largest tower at the Carbide plant spews poisonous gas into the air. They unknowingly become a statistic in one of the worst industrial accidents in history which instantly killed nearly 4,000 people while harming thousands of others.

Union Carbide has not apologized for their negligence, and the settlement was a mere 300 dollars per victim. In response, writer/director Ravi Kumar, a local pediatrician with no experience in filmmaking, took it upon himself to make Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, a dramatic and revealing film about the 1984 accident which shocked the world.

Directed by Ravi Kumar, 2014, UK/India, 96 mins. In English and Hindi with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Nov. 28 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Nov. 29 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Nov. 30 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Dec. 1–4 at 7 & 9 pm
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$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation