(Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, India 2012, 150 min., 35mm, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Japanese, French w/subtitles)
Stories of Indian Cinema | Rochester Premiere. In anticipation of the exhibition Stories of Indian Cinema: Abandoned & Rescued (opening November 11), we offer this unique and extraordinary glimpse into the vast world of Indian film culture through the story of P. K. Nair, India’s first and most renowned film archivist.
“Few are aware that 1,700 silent films were made in India, of which only nine survive, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Nair. He traveled to remote parts of India to collect and save cans of rare films. He was truly democratic as an archivist trying to save any film that he could get his hands on, be it world cinema, Hindi popular films, or regional Indian cinema. He even took world cinema to the villages of India. He has influenced generations of Indian film students especially the Indian New Wave filmmakers. As Mr. Nair speaks, we see the history of Indian cinema unfold. What emerges is a portrait of a man so in love with cinema that even his family had to take a backseat to his obsession. Mr. Nair is not just the founder of the National Film Archive, but a living, breathing museum of cinema. The fact that India has a cinematic heritage at all is the singlehanded achievement of this man. There will be no one like him again.” – Shivendra Singh Dungarpur