Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bollywood vs. Hollywood

Although it does not show in America's top movie listings, the movie capitol of the world is not Hollywood, California, but Bombay, India. In India and Pakistan, Israel and the Arab world as well as Africa and the far east, Bollywood movies enjoy an enduring popularity.
The close economic cooperation between the former Soviet Union and India leaves an enduring fondness for Indian movies across the former USSR.
These movies tend to be a lot longer than American films. A typical movie is often more than three hours long. They deal with love, family life and the political upheavals of the Indian subcontinent. Their strict modesty codes forbid any nudity or even long embraces. Musical numbers frequently punctuate romantic scenes. For these reasons, these movies are wildly popular in deeply conservative societies. Sadly enough, Taliban type regimes begrudge their subjects even the tame pleasure of these Indian films.
I am presenting a video clips. It is from Raj Kapoor, in the movie "Shree 420". The refrain of the song states that his pants are Japanese, his cap English and his heart Indian. I feel much the same way about being Jewish . Although this film is from the 1950's It remains an enduring classic. I hope to present more modern Bollywood films in the near future. In the competition between Hollywood and Bollywood,I know where my loyalties lie.
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