Singing The Praises Of Bollywood Films

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Bollywood churns out more films than Hollywood each year. Outside India, Bollywood films are drawing huge new audiences in other parts of Asia and across Africa.

The films have historically been fairly formulaic love stories with happy endings. Now, some filmmakers are breaking out of that mold.

Guests:

Aseem Chhabra, columnist for The Mumbai Mirror

Amitava Kumar, professor at Vassar College and contributor to Vanity Fair

Shashi Tharoor, Indian author and commentator

Amitava Kumar's Bollywood Crash Course

Image from 'Monsoon Wedding' i

Monsoon Wedding, from 2001, was directed by Mira Nair. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe award. hide caption

itoggle caption
Image from 'Monsoon Wedding'

Monsoon Wedding, from 2001, was directed by Mira Nair. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe award.

*Sholay is the biggest hit in Bollywood history. Kumar says it has "melodrama, violence, sex and dance," all the "characteristic marks" of a Bollywood film.

*Satya is a Hindi crime film from 1998.

*Ankur, or The Seedling, started "the new wave of Indian cinema," according to Kumar, with its "eye for social observation and injustice."

*The Bandit Queen is the fictionalized story of Phoolan Devi, a modern day, female Robin Hood in India.

*Monsoon Wedding was moderately successful in the U.S. Kumar believes it "in some ways reflects some of our (Indian) diasporic identities, and also still has lots of songs and dance."

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