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'Bollywood movies are making waves in China'

'Bollywood movies are making waves in China'

‘Bollywood movies are making waves in China’Mukti JainProfessor Arun Gupta of NID shares his experience of teaching Contemporary Bollywood to students in China | Jul 30, 2018, 19:19 IST‘Bollywood movies are making waves in China’“While the Indians consider China as its rival and the political establishments are busy destroying bridges, Bollywood movies are making waves in China,” said professor Arun Gupta of NID, who returned on Sunday after teaching Contemporary Bollywood for a week to Chinese students.
Professor Gupta, who is the principal faculty of Film and Video Communication at the institute was invited by Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China to teach Indian Cin ema to its students of Journalism and Communication.
Sharing his experience with us over the phone, he said, “It was wonderful introducing the young Chinese kids to India through its cinema over a week. Some of our recent films like Dangal (2016), Secret Superstar (2017) and Hindi Medium (2017) have been appreciated much more in China than India. Aamir Khan is a major star in China.”
Arun Gupta Class on Bollywood Films @ Xiamen University, China It’s not only Professor Gupta but media reports worldwide state that Dangal was one of the 20 highest grossing films of all time in China. While it topped the Chinese BO for a fortnight, it remained in the top 5 slot for over a month. Even Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly told PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a summit that he loved Dangal. As per estimates, Secret Superstar did a business of $41 million in a month in China. Simila rly, Hindi Medium nearly touched the Rs190 crore mark in China.
Professor Gupta explains why Indian movies are resonating in China, “Their and our social issues are the same - gender discrimination, poverty, lack of quality education. They are dealing with the problem of girl education, patriarchy and parents struggling to find a good school since nursery education, the way it is shown in Dangal and Hindi Medium. Chinese students, even though struggling with spoken English, enthusiastically participated in the classroom activities, and were curious to know more about India and its cinema.”
The professor however adds that not just the modern cinema but even Raj Kapoor’s films like Awaara were appreciated much in China. “The other films that I showcased over a week included Awaara (1951), Do Raaste (1969) and DDLJ (1995).”
Cinema of a country reflects its social conscience, he said. “For instance, when Do Raaste came, there was a rise in the number of educated women. The movie depicts an educated woman as a villain, capturing the general apprehension prevalent among the masses at that time.”
When asked whether he connects with any Chinese movies, he said, “I like a lot of Chinese classics. But, what has stayed with me is Not One Less by Zhang Yimou. It depicts how a lone teacher of a dilapidated school in a remote village finds it difficult to get a replacement when he had to go on a leave for a month to take care of his ailing mother. However, a 14-year-old girl volunteers to take his place for a very less amount. The way she manages the school, moved me.”
Professor Gupta says he looks forward to the expected visit of professors from Department of Journalism and Communication, Xiamen University to Alpavirama Film Festival to be hosted by NID in October. And we look forward to Bollywood breaking some more barriers across border in mainland China.
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