varnachitram

A Blog on Cinema

A Tale of Two Film Industries

| 6 Comments

There is not much in common among Malayalees and Pakistanis, apart from the fact that both are carbon based life forms. So when you meet a Pakistani, there are only a few things you can ask them like, “What do you think the fate of Musharraf will be?”  or “How many suicide bombers are there in your family”

Now there is one more topic which we can discuss and that is the state of the film industry of both places.

Actors, producers and directors from across Pakistan gathered for a two-day seminar aimed at reversing an alarming slide that has seen most cinemas close and the output of movies decline from around 100 in the late 1980s to just 40 last year.

“It’s almost finished, taking its last breath. We are trying to revive it.” Most people these days prefer to stay home to watch CD copies of glitzy Bollywood films from India rather than venture out to decrepit movie halls.

He warned that Pakistan is losing its talented actors and filmmakers to India. “We need to preserve what we have,” he said.[Actors call for revival of local film industry]

We can tell the Pakistanis how the number of movies releasing in Kerala are also declining, how people prefer glitzy Tamil and Hindi movies and how Kerala is losing talent to Tamil and Telugu film industry. But before you start discussing if Prithviraj should have won the State Award with the Pakistani, just check if belongs to Al-Badr. If so, RUN.

6 Comments

  1. With all due respect to the people behind VC, I must say this is a very nice way of presenting political views through a pinch of cinema. I am actually surprised. Why should Pakistan movie industry concern the Malayalam cinema viewers?

    “How many suicide bombers are there in your family” is hardly funny. It would be something offensively similar to asking a Christian whom you meet “How many people whom you converted today” or asking a Hindu “How many Dalits whom you made eat shit” etc.

    So is Varna Chithram soon going to be Varna Raashtreeyam or Varna Chithra Raashtreeyam? 🙂

  2. “How many suicide bombers are there in your family” .. I was rolling on the floor reading this. Really funny.

  3. That comment was made in jest, and we had written Pakistani – not muslim. Now you are giving unnecessary communal colors to it.
    (that’s how people get incited in India, and start communal violence 🙂 )

  4. That comment was made in jest, and we had written Pakistani – not muslim. Now you are giving unnecessary communal colors to it.

    If you go through my comment again, I didn’t say “religious/communal view” but “political view”, “Raashtreeyam” etc. I wanted to mention your post has more of a political sound than the usual cinematic stuff seen here in the past. Infact, by the generelization of “How many suicide bombers are there in your family” there is a hint that every Pakistani famly has a suicide bomber. Enough to please the pseudo-nationals, but look at it again. The political tone in this post made me post the previous comment.

    Never did I mention the word Muslim in my comment. So I wonder how you got that point! 🙂

    “How many suicide bombers are there in your family”

    Ofcourse, communal violences can begin from such generalizations. 🙂

  5. “Never did I mention the word Muslim in my comment. So I wonder how you got that point! ”
    On the same token can we ask you, where was the mention about Christians and Dalits in that post?

    Jo, just to clarify, we were trying to draw similarities between two dying film industries, and
    how Pakistan’s film industry is trying to recover.

  6. Now this is getting interesting. 🙂
    Thanks for the clarification. Just one more comment to answer your question:
    On the same token can we ask you, where was the mention about Christians and Dalits in that post?
    I didn’t say you guys mentioned Dalits or Christians or Hindus in that post. And I didn’t mention Muslims in my comment and it was about the political tone. You can check both of my comments above.
    But if you are referring to my mention about Dalits and Christians in my comment, it was to point out how offensive that generalization can be (to give an example of ‘offense’, whats better than taking religious groups considering the current social tensions in the country?).
    That’s all.

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