Event Title

The Vagrant: Where the Soviet Love of Bollywood Began

Presenter Information

Sarah Chatta, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 325

Start Date

4-28-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 5:50 PM

Abtract

The Indian Film Festival that took place in Moscow in 1954 has been deemed the moment when “Indian cinema conquered the Soviet Union.” Among the four featured films, Awaara (translated into Russian as Brodjaga) achieved astonishing success, garnering more viewers than any other film, foreign or domestic, over the next decade. Brodjaga would be replayed in theaters across the USSR in 1959, 1965, 1977 and 1985, and people would name their children after the film's stars Raj Kapoor and Nargis. My research, which incorporates interviews I conducted in Russia in 2016, focuses on the film that laid the foundation for a long Soviet love-affair with Indian cinema. I argue that audiences were able to relate events in Brodjaga to their own brutal history under Stalin, and thus, their response to Brodjaga amounted to an act of mass mourning.

Keywords:

Indian cinema, USSR, Stalin's terrors

Notes

Session III, Panel 19 - Russian | Narratives
Moderator: Arlene Forman, Chair and Associate Professor of Russian & East European Studies

Major

Russian Studies; Creative Writing

Advisor(s)

Arlene Forman, Russian & East European Studies
Sylvia Watanabe, Creative Writing

Project Mentor(s)

Arlene Forman, Russian & East European Studies
Anu Needham, English

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Apr 28th, 4:30 PM Apr 28th, 5:50 PM

The Vagrant: Where the Soviet Love of Bollywood Began

King Building 325

The Indian Film Festival that took place in Moscow in 1954 has been deemed the moment when “Indian cinema conquered the Soviet Union.” Among the four featured films, Awaara (translated into Russian as Brodjaga) achieved astonishing success, garnering more viewers than any other film, foreign or domestic, over the next decade. Brodjaga would be replayed in theaters across the USSR in 1959, 1965, 1977 and 1985, and people would name their children after the film's stars Raj Kapoor and Nargis. My research, which incorporates interviews I conducted in Russia in 2016, focuses on the film that laid the foundation for a long Soviet love-affair with Indian cinema. I argue that audiences were able to relate events in Brodjaga to their own brutal history under Stalin, and thus, their response to Brodjaga amounted to an act of mass mourning.