It's Raining Films

Still from Dharavi

It's Raining Films

What's a good monsoon without a few movies, a hot snack and a cup of coffee? As the skies pour out, Mumbai pours out its love for films to cinephiles with some evergreen Indian films that were way ahead of the times, and are most relevant even today. The Monsoon Marathon of NFDC classics that kicks off later this week is all about exploring alternative audiences and bringing back National Award winning classics. It’s also about exploring alternate spaces, alternate distribution platforms, and communication platforms for good cinema. 

The initiative is part of the Film Aaj Kal Screenings & Conversations activation with speakers such as Muzaffar Ali, Alyque Padamsee, Mira Nair, Sudhir Mishra and Rajat Kapoor. Here are five of our picks from the lineup as a reminder of good homegrown cinema from the yore.

Raj Karan Yadav (Om Puri) is a scrappy taxi driver, who somehow scrapes a living in the big metropolis of Bombay (now Mumbai), driving a taxi every day. He lives in a one-room tenement with his wife (Shabana Azmi) in Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums, where the film is set.
The film follows his fortunes as he tries to break out from the clutches of poverty, devising plans and investing all his money in a dubious schemes which eventually blow out on him, coming under the eye of unscrupulous politician and local goons, yet his dreams continue…
When: July 21, 7pm
Where: Harkat Studios

It's Raining Films

Still from Mammo

Shyam Benegal's National Award winning Mammo is an account of a certain period in the life of Riyaz, a teenager who lives a poor lifestyle with his grandmother Fayyazi as they get a visit from his grandma's sister Mehmooda Begum Anwar Ali, commonly known as 'Mammo'. Mammo was born in Panipat during the British Raj, but she was one of those many Muslims who left for Pakistan after partition, automatically becoming Pakistani citizens. After the death of her beloved husband, Mammo is thrown out of the house by her relatives, and having nowhere else to go, comes to live with her widowed sister in Bombay on a temporary visa. Lots of things change while she is there, Mammo is loud, vivacious, opinionated and funny, and she keeps everyone on their toes. Initially unhappy with her presence, Riyaz learns to love the old lady and ultimately gets very close to her.
[Source: IMDB]
When: July 16, 4pm
Where: Harkat Studios

It's Raining Films

Still from Salaam Bombay!

Salaam Bombay!
This is a 1988 Hindi classic directed by Mira Nair, and screenwritten by her longtime creative collaborator, Sooni Taraporevala. The film chronicles the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Bombay, India's biggest city. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, the National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film, the Golden Camera and Audience Awards at the Cannes Film Festival, and three awards at the Montréal World Film Festival. The film was India's second film submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was among the list of "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made" by the New York Times.
When: July 22, 12pm
Where: Harkat Studios

It's Raining Films

Still from Gaman

Gaman is a 1978 film starring Farooq Sheikh and Smita Patil in the lead roles and introducing Nana Patekar in a supporting role. In order to improve their lifestyle, Ghulam Hasan (Farooq Shaikh) who hails from a village near Badaun, decides to relocate to Bombay, on the insistence of his close friend Lalulal Tiwari (Jalal Agha). He leaves behind his ailing mother and wife (Smita Patil). Lalulal helps him get a job cleaning taxis. Ghulam subsequently learns how to drive, and is hired to drive a taxi. In spite of his best efforts, he is unable to save enough money to visit Lucknow and his family. Lalulal has problems of his own, in spite of being settled in Bombay for several years. Having a sweetheart, Yashodra (Gita Siddharth), he is unable to even rent a decent apartment, and lives in a shanty tenement, which is slated to be demolished by the Bombay Municipal Corporation. The film deals with the futility of urban migration in the developing decades.
When: July 22, 4pm
Where: Harkat Studios

Directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza, the film is set between June and December 1992, the days preceding the infamous demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya by right-wing Hindu groups. The relationship between Naseem, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from a middle class Bombay based Muslim family and her ailing grandfather takes the story forward as the family watches with increasing horror on their TV the news of the growing tension between Muslims and Hindus. The grandfather keeps regaling her with stories of life marked by communal harmony in the pre-independence city of Agra. As communal tension erupts in the city of Bombay, Naseem notices changing dynamics at her school and in the neighborhood, while her grandfather watches helplessly at a city getting deeply divided on communal lines. The old man dies on 6 December coinciding with the news of the destruction of the mosque.
When: July 30, 4pm
Where: G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture

The Festival continues in Mumbai until Aug 15, 2017.

Text Platform Desk