Made in India – 1st edition
From September 26 to October 2, 2008 the first edition of Made in India, titled The Bollywood Film Festival was held at the Cinema du Parc, Montreal. With an average of 800 to 1200 films produced annually, the Indian popular cinema called Bollywood is the largest film producer in the world. Its film industry is a social phenomenon in India, and already highly appreciated in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and Europe, and now, the popular Indian cinema is at our doors.
This event presented 7 movies over the course of 7 days.
A foray into a cinema where cultural diversity, love, laughter, drama, the celebration of human emotions, and various artistic expressions of human beings come together…
Based on the Chatterjee Bengali novel published in 1917, this melodramatic love story tells of the passion between Devdas, a son of a wealthy family and his neighbour Parvati, the daughter of a lower-caste family. This colourful and sumptuous film, with rich song and dance sequences, contributed widely to the presence of Bollywood cinema in the West. Starring great stars of Bollywood cinema such as Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai (one of the faces of L’Oréal Paris).
India. 2002. Dir.: Sanjay Leela Bhansali. 178 minutes. Digital Proj. With Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit & Aishwarya Rai. Original version in Hindi and Bengali with French subtitles.
Modernizing Bollywood cinema, mixing old and modern India, the young director Aditya Chopra, made a real global success with this love story, which treats the nostalgia of Indian emigrants for their native country. DDLJ became a classic of Bollywood cinema, and remains the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema. This film gave new breath to Bollywood cinema.
India. 1995. Dir.: Aditya Chopra. 189 minutes. Digital Projection. With Shahrukh Khan, Kajol & Amrish Puri. Original version in Hindi, English and Punjabi with French subtitles.
Mohan Bhargava works at NASA. He returns to India to try to bring Amma, his nanny to the USA. Having approached the colonialist question with the movie Lagaan (2001), this touching film of Ashutosh Gowariker, is about present social problems in the countryside of India. The great composer A.R. Rahman, widely regarded as one of the greatest film composers ever, composed the music of Swades.
India. 2004. Dir.: Ashutosh Gowariker. 210 minutes. Digital Projection. With Shahrukh Khan & Gayatri Joshi. Original version in Hindi and English with French subtitles.
4. MUGHAL-E-AZAM (The Great Moghol)
Stemming from the golden age of Bollywood cinema (1960) Mughal-E-Azam is an epic film by K. Asif, that took 9 years to complete. This luxurious film of great visual, lyrical, and choreographic poetry, tells the story of a problematic love between a prince and a courtesan. The soundtrack of the newly restored and coloured Mughal-E-Azam was composed by the legendary music director Naushad, and was named as the second best Bollywood soundtrack ever.
India. 1960. Dir.: K. Asif. 173 minutes. Digital Projection. With Prithviraj Kapoor, Madhubala & Dilip Kumar. Original version in Urdu with English subtitles.
From the Pakistani prison cell of Veer, who has been imprisoned for 22 years, and with the help of an idealistic Pakistani lawyer, whose mission in life is to pave the path for women’s empowerment, we discover the drama of a legendary love between an Indian man and a Pakistani woman. This film, from the director and prolific producer Yash Chopra, is an ode to the Punjabi identity. It is also an ode to many Bollywood movies that contain that impossible dream which we want to believe will come true. The famous playback singer Lata Mageshkar sings in most of the songs of Veer-Zaara.
India. 2004. Dir.: Yash Chopra. 192 minutes. Digital Projection. With Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta & Rani Mukherji. Original version in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi with French subtitles.
The excellent Bombay, directed by the great Tamil director Mani Ratman, evokes the love story of a Hindu man and a Muslim woman who get married and live in Bombay. One day, Shaila becomes pregnant and gives birth to twins. The twins are raised in both religions. But, on the 6th of December 1992, religious extremism launches each community against the other, causing a wave of Hindu/Muslim riots that leave hundreds dead in Bombay. The film caused a huge controversy upon release in India and abroad, for its depiction of inter-religious relations.
India.1995. Dir.: Mani Ratman. 141 minutes. Digital Projection. With Arvind Swamy & Manisha Koirala. Original version in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu with English subtitles.
7. OM SHANTI OM
The amazing Om Shanti Om, written, choreographed and directed by the very talented Farah Khan, the most accomplished woman Bollywood film director in India, is a story of romance, reincarnation and spectacular revenge. Comedy, drama, action and the supernatural contribute at this explosive masala! The film is also a tribute, especially to the joyous and exultant Bollywood cinema of the 70’s. An homage to, and a parody of, Bollywood cinema.
India. 2007. Dir.: Farah Khan. 162 minutes. Digital Projection. With Shahrukh Khan, Arjun Rampal & Kiron Kher. Original Hindi version with English subtitles.