P Sheshadri’s National Award-winning Kannada film Bharath Stores draws parallels between India’s growing economy and the condition of small grocery shops.
It was a closed shutter of a tiny grocery shop in Bangalore that inspired National Award-winning filmmaker P Sheshadri to make a film, Bharath Stores, on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and its effect on the local economy.
“When I visited Bangalore in 1985, I would commute by bus from the central bus station. I was curious to know the landmarks which gave bus stops their name. There was one bus stop which was called Nirmala Stores Stop. But to my surprise, there was no shop by that name. No one, including the bus conductors, knew why the bus stop was named after the shop. Then one day, I found a small shop by that name that had its shutters down. I moved on after that, but somewhere this incident remained with me,” says Bangalore-based Sheshadri, of his 92-minute film which will be shortly screened on Doordarshan. He has also made award-winning Kannada films such as Munnudi, Atithi and Beru.
In the film, Sheshadri has drawn parallels between the state of small grocery stores and the social and economic progress of India. So was Sheshadri hesitant in making a film that could be looked upon as a crusade against FDI in retail sector?
“No, not really,” he says, “Globalisation has its own share of kudos and brickbats. I concentrated mostly on the effect on Indian farming sector, growth of consumerism and also threw light on the impact of malls and mega marts on small shops.”
There are also plans of dubbing Bharath Stores in Hindi, reveals Sheshadri