9 comments on “And now for the New Year, a beautiful old dream from Jeet (1949)

  1. Yay, that’s the spirit!
    62 years gone since the film and still whe ave to fight for the same rights!
    People of the world unite!

  2. Instead of moving forwards people seem to accept the “go backwards” agenda that has been pushed at us, esp over the past few years….

  3. @ bawa: how true! It seems everything has to be offered and sacrificed at the altar of the economy god. Human rights, workers rights, women rights seem all to be impediments on the path to financial nirvana. It is shame that the states in the EU have not been able to push even a finance transaction tax. They would rather squeeze the last penny from a worker rather than ask for a bread crumb from the speculators.

  4. This is possibly outside the scope of filmi discussions but since the topic has come up, I will just say what I believed for some time. As Daren Acegmolu says in

    “At the centre of our framework is the tension between people who have political power and how they can use that power for their own interests and against the interests of the rest of the society.”

    Early Bollywood and film industry in many other centres like Madras was full of left wing people. Partly out of ideology and partly because they had to make films that appealed to many (money at the bottom of the pyramid), there were many films of this type in the forties and fifties. But soon financiers, self interests of some of the actors and others to push their progeny, formulae for box office success probably took over. I do not think that early Bolloywood films had the integrity of some of the early Hollywood films but there were elements which appealed to many in India and abroad and they still appeal. I think that blogs lik this help to find what are these elements.
    Now that making films is not so expensive and with internet access, it may be possible for films about social chane to have wide audience. When it has come to a stage when corporations want to tax rain water (it happenned in Bolivia, I think), may be it is time for films of social change again.

  5. Agree with you gadddeswarup!
    And yeah in Bolivia the people’s movement succeeded in reversing the privatisation of water. So all that we should do is work for more consciousness among the masses. Talk about it so long and so strong that it becomes a topic, which everybody has to deal with.

  6. An interesting conversation here… Yes, as I’ve said in different places, one of the things that appealed to me so much when I discovered Golden Age Bollywood and then the era of Indian cinema that somewhat preceded it was this prevalence of left/socialist/anti-capitalist ideas in films that were really at the center of the popular culture, which films had plenty of great music and dance, etc., too. Maybe there was a bit of that combination in early American cinema, but by the late ’40s and ’50s, people in the film industry who even hinted at the political ideas that seem to have been so prevalent at the time in “Bollywood” could expect to be quickly kicked onto the blacklist. This combination of leftist politics and popular cinema is certainly very different from the mainstream films of Hollywood in recent decades, which makes old Bollywood an extremely refreshing experience to me. Of course, post-70s, there was this growth of art cinema, and that is where challenges to capitalism and the status quo could be found, both in India (from what I see) and in the U.S. (at least sometimes). But in the west, especially (I think), it began to seem more and more as though leftist ideas had to be confined to an inherently elitist art culture, with “experimental” works that became increasingly obscure. To me, this seems like a contradiction, since socialist ideas are supposed to be about empowering the masses or working toward conditions in which the masses can empower themselves.

    Anyway, I’ve been away from the blog a bit lately for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have gotten a little more involved in our “Occupy” movement, trying, especially, to work in the groups that aim to inform people and do that consciousness raising that a couple of you are speaking about. I’ve gotten more involved in Occupy Staten Island (yes, there really is an Occupy Staten Island), particularly in an effort to push forward a sort of study group. Tomorrow – or, technically, later today – I will also be attending a meeting of some people gathering in Brooklyn who would like to push this movement in a more anti-capitalist direction. Well, we’ll see how that goes…

    There is actually greater hope here in the U.S. of dissent growing, and, of course, there is an increase in protest all over the world. (To the point where Time Magazine tells us that the Man of the Year is “The Protester” – well, that’s better than most of the ones they’ve selected in the past.) When I participated in the anti-globalization movement a little over a decade ago, I felt that we were being much more marginalized, and I was more reluctant to talk about these involvements out in the open (for good reasons, based on experience, but let’s not get into that). But today it seems that dissent is becoming more acceptable and expected, even as the government takes more severe acts to repress it. (This, at least, is what I’m seeing in the U.S. and the west. I know that India is a bit different and in certain ways, more complicated… But sometimes when I read, say, Arundhati Roy talking about India’s fake democracy (that is pretty much what she calls it) and all the resistance movements (which are sometimes brutally suppressed), I see similarities to my home country. And I have a friend who is helping me to learn Hindi who was a Marxist in India going some ways back who also offers some more ideas to me regarding the global struggle and the connections or differences between the two places where that is concerned. (Maybe he’s even reading this – if so, hello!))

    Anyway, I guess this is all getting a bit far from “filmi,” but maybe not in certain ways. I do have an obscure blog that is supposed to be more my “political” blog, but I have neglected it and nobody reads it anyway and besides, now I am figuring out how to sneak the politics into this blog a bit more :) …

  7. Thank you, Swarup. It is always interesting to see info about branches of the Indian People’s Theatre Association.

    And along similar lines, there is Kerala’s KPAC. (And I may have more to say about that sometime in the near future, when it is not so late in the night or early in the morning here. :) )

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