BOMBAY CHAPTER: Mohile Parikh Centre for Contemporary Culture (MPC3), Bombay
March 26th , 2005
7.45 pm

VIENNA CHAPTER: Kuenstlerhaus, Vienna
May 21st, 2005
9.00 pm

BERLIN CHAPTER: House of World Cultures, Berlin
August 14th, 2005
8.00 pm

Film
Purab aur Pachhim / East and West

Director: Manoj Kumar
India 1970, 187 min, b/w and colour, Original format: 35mm, due to non-existence of a subtitled filmprint, this film will be shown as english subtitled DVD

Conflict-laden and colourful, the clash of Eastern and Western culture has since ‘Purab aur Pachhim’ been a very popular theme in mainstream Hindu cinema: this is the classic of the genre. Bharat, son of a freedom fighter who was killed by the British, comes to London - the capital of moral decline. He is shocked by Indian emigrants, who feel ashamed by their origins and have often broken with the traditions of their home country. Bharat meets his Father’s best friend, who is a patriot, yet has succumbed to the pleasantries of luxury life and has raised his daughter Prithi in any but the ‘Indian’ way. Prithi is a hippy girl with a blond beehive, who wears mini skirts, thick eye liner and huge sunglasses, smokes joints and drinks alcohol. Prithi and Bharat fall in love, but Prithi does not really intend to move to India… Apparently to deter the Indian audience, but with highly visible commercial consideration the film shows plenty of bikini-girls and the sinful hippy life, stoned hare-krishna followers in parks and where this way of life leads to… – unless, one finds his way back to the right path. A somehow bigoted cult film starring Saira Banu as main character – the ‘hottest Bollywood actress’ at the time – and many songs that turned into hits.

Manoj Kumar (1937) actor, director, and producer, originally from Pakistan. After the division of the country, Kumar lived in a refugee camp near Pakistan for a while and in the 1950’s began to star as an actor in his cousin’s films. In the 1960’s he advanced as an extremely popular actor in commercial Hindu cinema, before discovering his vocation as patriotic producer with ‘Upkaar’ (1967).

 

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