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Hindi films go global

During the last decade, Hindi films have been breaking into the Top 10, both in the US and UK with regularity.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2003 18:59 IST
Saibal Chattrerjee
Saibal Chattrerjee

As an Indian cultural export to the West, mainstream Hindi cinema might not yet have leapfrogged into the same league as Yoga, Transcendental Meditation and the Kamasutra. It might not even have won the unstinting respect and admiration of the global cognoscenti quite to the extent that the films of Satyajit Ray did. But it is well on the way to mastering a visual and narrative lingo that can cut across geographical divides.

Until a couple of decades ago, Raj Kapoor, Mumbai's greatest showman, was Indian filmdom's best-known name outside the shores of the country. He had built up a sizeable fan following in countries such as the then Soviet Union and China thanks to films like Shri 420 and Awara. Since then, particularly in the wake of the emergence of a clearly demarcated overseas film distribution territory, Hindi cinema has made steady inroads into the US and UK, riding both on the popularity of its megastars and the infectious rhythms of its songs.

First Published: Jan 14, 2003 00:00 IST