Remembrance of Things Future
By Avijit Ghosh
30 September 2013
The third wave of Bhojpuri cinema reveals much about India’s shifting class dynamics
The BMW boys and their Gucci girlfriends don’t go to Moti Cinema, but it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the Old Delhi elite – men in impeccably tailored suits and sherwanis, and women in brocade saris – queued up outside its ticket counters in Chandi Chowk for over 50 weeks to watch Raj Kapoor’s Sangam (1964). But then, sometime in the 1980s when soaps and television serials first seduced India, and when video piracy lured the middle class away from theatres, Moti fell on hard times. When the multiplexes arrived in the 1990s, the cinema hall was on the wrong side of history. Like so many other single-screens in Delhi, it was headed for curtains…
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