From October 19 to 29, 2009, the second edition of the Made in India Indian film festival was held at the Cinema du Parc, in Montreal. With 11 films, Made in India reflected a diversity of genres, illustrating the richness of a cinema sometimes devalued. The programming consisted of classics of Indian cinema as well as blockbuster movies in India, Asia and Europe. Diverse films representing a cultural diversity. From the Indian popular cinema called Bollywood, also named “Hindi Cinema,” through the “Middle Cinema,” art-house cinema, social cinema, and the Marathi regional cinema- considered the oldest genre of the Indian film industry, Made in India invited you on a journey of discovery of cinematographic universes rich in colours and humanity.
In 1957, Guru Dutt, one of the greatest directors of Indian cinema, also scriptwriter, producer and actor, signed his masterpiece, Pyaasa. He innovated through the poetry of the black and white, and through the integration of songs into the story, renewing the vocabulary of Indian commercial cinema. Pyaasa is the story of a struggling poet, Vijay, who tries to make his works known. One night, in a desperate moment, Vijay is seduced by the song of a prostitute who interprets one of his texts! A lyrical and artistic film with a poetic depth. In 2005, Pyaasa was rated as one of the 100 best films of all time by Time Magazine.
India. 1957. Dir.:Guru Dutt. 146 minutes. Digital projection. With : Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman & Johnny Walker. Original Hindi version with English subtitles
The village tradition of Kusavade, in the state of Maharashtra, of letting loose a bull in “God’s” name has dire consequences. Valu, the wild bull is blamed for every single act of chaos and destruction that happen in and around the village. A forest officer is called to catch the bull. He appears in the village with a young filmmaker who struggles to shoot a documentary about the situation. The forest officer tries to pacify and capture the bull, but no one of his plans seem to come to shape while interacting with people of the village and their ideas about the situation.
Valu, The Wild Bull, is an allegorical comedy, where the bull represents free will… This social satire by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni had great success in Maharashtra. This is the first screening of Valu in America.
India. 2008. Dir.:Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni. 121 minutes. Digital projection. With : Dr Mohan Agashe, Atul Kulkarni, etc. Original Marathi version with English subtitles
This comedy, with a mix of thriller, is an original story inspired by real events. It is the story of two men in two cities who are bound by a common feeling of always being stuck at ’99’. They never seem to make it to a ‘century’ – in life. It involves small-time crooks, conspiracies, car crashes, a briefcase full of money, a budding romance… Set in the year 1999, showcasing all the events that happened during that time revolving around the controversial, India-South Africa cricket betting scandal. According to The New York Times the film 99 is “Funny, Inventive & Refreshing.”
India. 2009. Dir.: Raj Nidimoru & Krshna Dk. 140 minutes. Digital projection. Avec/with. : Kunal Khemu, Boman Irani, Cyrus Broacha, Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus Broacha, Simone Singh, Mahesh Manjrekar, etc. Original Hindi version with English subtitles.
GABHRICHA PAUS (The Damned Rain)
Some regions in the state of Maharashtra in India are infamous for the number of suicides of farmers that they account for everyday. The Damned Rain is the story of a farmer Kisna who tries as hard as possible to continue farming. Kisna’s wife Alka is assured that he is thinking of committing suicide. She asks their 6-year old son Dinu to keep a watch on Kisna, and report any irregular behavior. A drama where smiles and laughter are also at the rendez-vous, this movie by Satish Manwar has been presented at many International film festivals. This is the premier of The Damned Rain in Quebec.
India. 2009. Dir.: Satish Manwar. 99 minutes. 35mm. With : Sonali Kulkarni, Girish Kulkarni, Jyoti Subash, Veena Jamkar, Aman Attar. Original Marathi version with English subtitles.
Wonderfully directed, the movie Bhumika is one of the most beautiful films by director Shyam Benegal, who is the creator of what we call the ‘Middle cinema’, a kind of cinema between art films and popular cinema. The film is inspired by, and is a fictional recreation of, the autobiography of the famous Hindi and Marathi screen actress of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, Hansa Wadkar. Bhumika redraws the path of a woman, Usha, who in the crossroads of her life, tries to find a viable road among those which are proposed to her. The one who would allow her to find her place in the Indian society of the fifties. For that, she will have to fight against the shadows of the past and the stereotypes which define the “respectable” woman and the “amoral” woman.
India. 1977. Dir.: Shyam Benegal. 142 minutes. Digital projection. With. : Smita Patil, Amol Palekar & Anant Nag. Original Hindi version with English subtitles
Ishaan is an eight year old boy whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate, and he just cannot seem to get anything right in class. When he gets into far more trouble than his parents can handle, he is packed off to a boarding school to ‘be disciplined’. Things are not different at his new school, and Ishaan has to contend with the added trauma of separation from his family. One day a new art teacher bursts onto the scene… He discovers the talents of Ishaan and his dyslexia. Both commercially and critically acclaimed, Taare Zameen Par is the winner of the 2008 Filmfare Best Movie Award, and at the National Film Award, it won the Award for Best Film on Family Welfare.
India. 2007. Dir. : Aamir Khan. 165 minutes. 35mm. With : Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, etc. Original Hindi version with English subtitles
In the 16th century, Hindoustan is dominated by the dynasty of the Muslim Mughal emperors. To unify the territory which will become India, Akbar the Great grants to marry a Rajput Hindu princess, Jodhaa, who accepts, but on certain conditions… Ashutosh Gowariker, the director of the Academy Award-nominated Lagaan, creates a sumptuous epic film. Sublimated by a wonderful photography, Jodhaa Akbar is as much a magnificent Indian tale as a tremendous historical pageant filmed in the natural sets of Rajasthan. A touching love story which evolves under the music of the acclaimed music composer A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire).
India. 2008. Dir.: Ashutosh Gowariker. 213 minutes. Digital projection. Avec/with. : Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, etc. Original Hindi and Urdu version with French subtitles.
The desire for revenge can provide a powerful motive, and in SHOLAY (one of the greatest classics of Indian cinema from the 70’s), a retired police officer has more than enough incentive to pursue and punish an evil bandit. Unable to succeed on his own, he convinces two small-time crooks to nab his quarry, not anticipating the complications that inevitably ensue. Propelled by an all-star cast that includes Amitabh Bachan, Dharmendra, Amjad Khan, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, and Jaya Bhaduri. In addition, film score fans can look forward to hearing some fine R.D. Burman songs, including the popular “Mehbooba, Mehbooba.”
India. 1975. Dir.: Ramesh Sippy. 199 minutes. Digital projection. Avec/with. : Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Amjad Khan, etc. Original Hindi version with French subtitles
Major Ram Prasad Sharma yearns to see the ambitious project Mission Milaap become a reality. A mission that will prove to end the long feuding war between India and Pakistan. However the terrorist Raghavan will do anything to prevent the strategic move and targets the army General’s daughter Sanjana. In order for Ram to protect her, he goes back to college posing as a student-undercover! Searching also for his lost step brother Lakshman… Comedy, drama, action, love, etc. An explosive mix “made in Bollywood” by the talented director of Om Shanti Om, Farah Khan.
India. 2004. Dir.: Farah Khan. 174 minutes. Digital projection. Avec/with. : Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Sunil Shetty, Zayed Khan, etc. Original Hindi version with French subtitles
Yash lives a very wealthy lifestyle along with his wife, Nandini, and two sons, Rahul and Rohan. While Rahul has been adopted, Yash and Nandini treat him as their own. They start to look for a suitable bride for Rahul, and decide to get him married to a young woman named Naina. When Rahul is told about this, he tells them that he loves another woman who is from the middle-class. Yash refuses to permit Rahul to marry Anjali. A defiant Rahul decides to leave, gets married to Anjali, without his parents’ blessings… This festive film is a tribute to family and one of the biggest successes in India and even in Europe. Directed by the talented Karan Johar, with great actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Jaya Bachchan, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, with memorable song and dance sequences, KKKG is a movie that you won’t forget.
India. 2001. Dir.: Karan Johar. 211 minutes. Digital projection. Avec/with. : Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Jaya Bachchan, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, etc. Original Hindi version with French subtitles.