Its 20th year will include a poster exhibition and the film Mrs. Chatterjee Vs. Norway inspired by the fate of an Indian family whose two children were taken away by the Barnevernet social service in Norway in 2011. For the duration of the festival, the atmosphere of India will be accompanied by, for example, Indian refreshments. The organizers will show the films with English and Czech subtitles. ČTK reported about it on behalf of the organizer Jan Těšitel.
To kick things off, on October 12, the festival will offer Punjabi filmmaker Jaspal Singh Sandhu’s directorial debut Vadh (Kill), whose heroes are the aging Mishra couple. They try to lead an honest and dignified life, although they struggle with poverty and the disappointment of an ungrateful adult son who left for America. At the same time, precisely because of his American dream, the Mishras have fallen into debt and have to endure regular humiliation from the repulsive moneylender Prajapati. When a devout and conservative couple is driven to the brink of despair, they decide on a radical act, after which they will have to deal with mobsters, corrupt police officers and their own conscience.
The second screening on the opening day of the festival will be the Indian family drama Mrs. Chatterjee Vs. Norway, which was based on the true story of an Indian family fighting for their children in Norway. In 2011, the Norwegian social service Barnevernet took them away from her. In the Czech Republic, this also caused criticism from part of the public and politicians in connection with the case of Eva Michaláková, whose sons Denis and David were taken away by Barnevernet in the same year and placed in foster care. In India, the case of children taken from an Indian family caused stormy reactions, and Indian diplomacy also got involved in the case, putting pressure on the Norwegian authorities to return the children to the family.
The show of Indian cinema began in 2003 as the Bollywood Film Festival with modest screenings for a few dozen enthusiasts at Prague’s FAMU and the NoD club. A year later, it moved to the Aero cinema, and in 2005 it settled permanently in the center of Prague in the Světozor cinema. During the past years, the organizers of the festival screened dozens of films. Actor Kabir Bedi, who became famous as the Malayan independence fighter Sandokan in the serial, appeared among the guests. During the festival’s existence, films from other genres and regions have also become firmly established in the program – for example, documentaries, experimental, art, queer, socially critical, Bengali, Tamil, Nepali or Pakistani.
The term Bollywood has been adopted for Indian commercial film production, which is created in Bombay film studios. Classic Bollywood films were multi-hour pictures with songs and dances and local stars adored by Indian audiences.