Friday, July 20, 2012

The influence of Indian cinema on Moroccan cinema-goers

Indian Cinema has always been loved by Moroccan cinemagoers and bollyphiles and even since its early start with legendary Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (1870 - 1944) affectionately called Dadasaheb Phalke is considered as the 'father of Indian Cinema'. Central in Phalke's career as a filmmaker was his fervent belief in the nationalistic philosophy of Swadeshi, which advocated that Indians should take charge of their own economy in the perspective of future Independence. This was confirmed to me by the most respected filmmaker Yash Shopra, who was in Marrakech in 2006 with his wife, Pamela Shopra. Going around Marrakeshi souks and suburbs especially the Jamaa el Fna square, Yash Shopra said how amazed and astonished he was by the Moroccan people and its traditions that really have great affinity with the ones in India. Both India and Should be both grat

eful to his artcraft.

.It is an outstanding drama which tries to break the barriers separating two lovers, Veer Patra Sing (Shahrukh kan) and a Pakistani woman, Zarma Hayaat Khan (Preity Zinta). When he projected his film at Berlin film festival, Yash Shopra was scared that the people would not understand the story, however, at the end of the film, he saw people crying. The presence of Aishwarya Rai in Marrakesh, a former Miss World and Bollywood’s first genuine cross-over icon, lightened Marrakech with her beauty and let all Marrakeshi young men eyes wild open. These artists are well honored by the Moroccan people and FIFM, the international film festival in Marrakesh. Morocco now became known in Mumbai and the majority of Bollywood stars would love to come to this country.

Not far from Agadir, Las Palmas, a Spanish little island, is overcrowded with Indians and enjoyed the double culture there. Indians have immigrated to every corner of the globe with contingencies in South Africa, the Gulf countries, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada apart from the UK. Wherever the Indians go, their films and their food go with them. With curry and chutney now international favourite foods, it was inevitable that their exotic films, their melodies, the romantic strains of their sitar, the striking beauty of their leading ladies and the dark and daring magnetism of their dashing heroes would eventually reach the hearts of the West despite all of Rudyard Kipling's poetic protests, reports Lubna Abdel Aziz, from Cairo Al Ahram weekly. Of course, he did not know then the strength and might of the Seventh Art, which proved to be the best meeting ground for East, West, North and South.

Many critics in Morocco would immediately judged Indian cinema as an emotional cinema which only seeks impossible love, and therefore damages the taste with its chosen six songs and pharonic scenes and yet praised and admired by others just like Razak, a Hindu fan and film critic who is illuminated by its new wave , independent anti-studio cinema , pioneered by Madhur Bhandarkar .Razak continuously makes local cinephiles more aware about Indian cinema using his power as a wonderful plume .He writes how exquisite , beautiful and magnificently arising and yet glorifying world wild Hindi cinema is. He also predicted in his RABAT EXPRESS newspaper that « BLACK » of Sanjay Leela Bhansali with Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee as best actor and actress, would win an Oscar in Dubai during IIFA film festival the year of 2006.His prophecy became true in the United Arab of Emirates last June during IIFA ceremony in Dubai. By the way, the Arab world is also fascinated by this genre of Cinema .Whenever you go, Bollywood movies prevail in popular theatres, for example, Cairo, Casablanca and Dubai cinemas are full with Bollywood fans, and you can hardly find your ticket. Now resourcefully, people in Mumbai listen carefully to European cinephiles who admire latest of Sanjay Leela Bhansali « BLACK » because simply of its new style without using songs and exotic scenes.

Ideas like creating an agency that deals only with Bollywood films and Wizcraft artistic communications becomes a wish not only for Razak, but also for myself. I think as Bollywood will celebrate its 100 years of cinema in Marrakech next autumn, it is time to sit down, discuss and debate in professional meetings about film distributers, producers and filmmakers andtackle mechanism of producing Bollywood movies in Morocco.

From this contest, I have already launched a weblog named Hollywood-Bollywood peace initiative in which mega-stars of the west and the east can be together, may be in Morocco , to unite our world in peace and joy.

Allal El Alaoui

Film director and blogger