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Directed by Raj Kapoor

India 1951 193 mins.

Known as “The Showman” by his contemporaries, Raj Kapoor produced, directed and starred in some of the most lasting classics of Indian cinema’s Golden Age, including Barsaat (1949) and Shree 420 (1955). Released a scant five years after India achieved its independence from Britain when Indian national cinema was still getting its footing, Awaara stars Kapoor and his longtime muse (and off screen love) Nargis, and tells the story of the intertwining lives of a poor tramp and the privileged young woman he loves. Effortlessly blending comedy, romance, and pointed social commentary, Kapoor’s film nods to the classics of Hollywood cinema while forging a distinctly Indian identity all its own. “Kapoor’s singular and gargantuan talent subsumes a variety of influences and affinities—Chaplin, Frank Capra, Orson Welles—with even a touch of Russ Meyer apparent in the later work.”—Elliot Stein, “Raj Kapoor: The Showman Auteur of Indian Cinema.”

Rights provided by R.K. Films and Studios, Mumbai, India.

Series Program Notes