From Bombay to Bollywood: 50 Years of Indian Cinema

  • January 9, 2016 — March 12, 2016

Indian cinema boasts the most prolific output of any national film industry on the planet—its films, stars, and songs are beloved at home and by millions around the world, yet it remains largely unknown to many audiences in the West. Often incorrectly referred to as “Bollywood” (a term which actually only applies to the Hindi cinema of Mumbai, one of many film production centers in the country), Indian cinema is much more than the “song and a wedding” fare typically referenced in Western pop culture. Blending the traditions of musical storytelling and popular myth with dozens of different genres—often all in the same movie—Indian cinema eschews easy classification and demands recognition for its diversity and vitality. This ten-film retrospective offers a primer on popular Indian cinema and a rare opportunity to celebrate these classic films as they are meant to be seen—big movies on the big screen.

Sponsored by East India Co. Grill & Bar, Anjali School of Dance, and DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid.

Series Program Notes

Title: AWAARA ¥ Year: 1951 ¥ Dir: KAPOOR, RAJ ¥ Ref: AWA006AB ¥ Credit: [ THE KOBAL COLLECTION / RK FILMS ]


Directed by Raj Kapoor

Known as “The Showman” by his contemporaries, Raj Kapoor produced, directed and starred in some of the most lasting classics

pyaasa HR


Directed by Guru Dutt

Sensitive, lyrical filmmaker Guru Dutt was only 39 when he died of an apparent suicide, but he nevertheless left behind


Mother India

Directed by Mehboob Khan

Unabashedly patriotic, Mother India is an epic celebration of the indomitable spirit that weathered seemingly insurmountable hardships following the country’s



Directed by Satyajit Ray

The personal favorite film of famed Bengali director Satyajit Ray (The Apu Trilogy), Charulata tells the story of the titular



Directed by Ramesh Sippy

Often credited as the most popular film in the history of India and perhaps the one with the greatest impact

Salaam Bombay 2

Salaam Bombay!

Directed by Mira Nair

Tender in its compassion for its young subjects and unflinching in its portrayal of the harsh realities of life on



Directed by Ram Gopal Varma

Satya, the surprise breakout hit of 1998, has been critically lauded for its realistic depiction of gang violence in Mumbai,

7Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Directed by Aditya Chopra

One of India’s the best-loved romances is also its longest running: the film is still in its original theatrical release,

Devdas 2


Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Operatic in every sense of the word, Bhansali’s adaptation of the legendary Bengali novel features dazzling sets and costumes, impossibly

Lagaan 2


Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker

At the height of the British Raj (colonial rule) in the district of Champaner, extreme drought forces a poor village