Bengali Baul musician (pic: Souvid Datta)
Channel 4 has unveiled details of its first Indian film season for 2017 and this time around it’s all about the region’s music.
The season kicks off with Tuning 2 You, a six-part look at Indian folk music, and that’s followed by films on Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and a collaboration between Wynton Marsalis and a group Pakistani musicians. Continue reading
After the disappointment of having no Spring season of Bollywood films on Channel 4 this year and then the slightly underwhelming, documentary-heavy Autumn season last year, I’m excited by this year’s Autumn line-up of Bollywood films.
Those in charge of programming have struck what looks to be a really nice mix of new/old and left-field/populist films that takes in a crime thriller, an award-winning legal drama and more besides.
Assuming I remember to record it – certainly not a given if past years are anything to go by – I’ll finally get to see Delhi 6, whose songs were playing when I first started listening to Raj & Pablo. Continue reading
The first of Channel 4’s two Indian film seasons begins tonight/in the early hours of tomorrow with Qissa (2013), an award-winning social drama/fantasy is set at the time of India’s partition in 1947.
It’s the first of six films to be screened over the coming weeks that draw on “moving stories from across the country”, according to the UK television station.
Director Anup Singh’s tale – told in Punjabi with English subtitles – tells the story of Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan), a Sikh forced, with his wife and three daughters, to flee his village in the new state of Pakistan. Continue reading
It looks like Chanel 4 will end this Autumn’s Indian film season with The Square Circle (Daaryaa).
The 1996 drama is set on the north-eastern coast of India and tells the story of a transvestite and an abducted girl who find friendship.
The abducted girl (Sonali Kulkarni) suffers terrible violence at the hands of a group of men she encounters. But, escaping them, she finds refuge with a transvestite (Nirmal Pandey). Continue reading
The last film in Channel 4’s current, short South Asian film season will be the Nepali film Saanghuro.
Director Joes Pandey’s debut picture is the story of a lower middle-class family living in an urban slum in Kathmandu and it portrays life as a constant struggle, according to Channel 4. Continue reading
Channel 4 will shortly begin its first
Bollywood South Asian film season of 2014 with a run of four films from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Cinema South Asia begins in Pakistan with Bol (Speak Up), the second film by Shoaib Mansoor, who boldly focuses on the repression of women in the Muslim world.
The film tells the story of Zainub Sayyed (Humaima Malik), a young woman about to be hanged for her father’s murder. Her final wish is to tell her story to the media who want to witness the hanging. Continue reading
And so Channel 4’s autumn season of Indian films will shortly come to end, but it does so in style with a double-bill combining a documentary on legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and a rare showing of the 1972 film Pakeezah.
Lata In Her Own Voice sees the singer, whose voice has appeared in films for more than six decades, talk about her life and work. (Trivia fans: this version of the documentary is distilled from a six-part series of the same name, originally shown on Channel 4 in 1990.)
Following straight on from the documentary will be a showing of the Meena Kumari starring Pakeezah. The film features Kumari as both a courtesan/ dancer rejected by her lover’s traditional family and then also her duaghter. Continue reading