Monday, March 01, 2004

Op-Ed Contributor: Hurray for Bollywood

Hurray for Bollywood--Pankaj Mishra Opines in the NY Times

Check out Pankaj Mishra's latest opinion piece on Bollywood that was published in the New York Times on February 28, 2004.

From the Article:

BOMBAY — Last week this city's film industry, called Bollywood, held its own version of the Oscars. There were well-rehearsed jokes and solemn speeches, and somewhat more spontaneous hugs and tears. Soon after it ended, most of the prize winners left for Dubai to attend yet another awards ceremony, their fourth in less than a month. Bollywood tends to congratulate itself even more frequently and fulsomely than Hollywood. And, perhaps, it has good reasons for doing so: India makes around 800 films each year, more than any country in the world. Bollywood produces up to 200 films in Hindi and Urdu alone.

Little of what comes out of this $1.3 billion-a-year industry is of much quality, and few films make a profit. Yet India, where approximately 12 million people go to the movies every day, remains culturally a world unto itself, immune to the films emerging from Hollywood, which have captured only 6 percent of the largest domestic movie market in the world.

Moreover, Bollywood's films reach up to 3.6 billion people around the world — a billion more than the audience for Hollywood. Egyptians, South Africans and Fijians joined Indians in electing Amitabh Bachchan — a name unknown to most people in Europe and America — as the "actor of the millennium" in a BBC online poll.


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