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Wonder why Indian cinema has become commerce driven: Majid Majidi

Majid Majidi is best known for his Oscar-nominated film 'Children of Heaven'.

Written by PTI | Panaji |
November 22, 2013 1:50:52 pm

Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi,best known for his Oscar-nominated film ‘Children of Heaven’,is pained to see that content has taken a back seat in Indian films as directors and producers here are focusing more on commercial aspects nowadays.

The 54-year-old director-producer-writer,who is set to shoot his next film in India titled ‘Floating Gardens’,is an ardent Satyajit Ray fan.

“I know India through Satyajit Ray’s films. I am a huge admirer of his poetic vision and style. I feel bad that we don’t get to see world class cinema like the ones he used to make from Indian makers nowadays. The commercial aspect of cinema has become the priority here rather than the content.

“The soul is missing from the Indian films. The focus has shifted to making money and this has had a direct impact on quality of films that India is producing,” Majidi told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of IFFI.

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Majidi also feels that while directors from other countries like Danny Boyle and Ang Lee have come to India and made Oscar winning films – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Life of Pi’ respectively; native filmmakers are not able to deliver similar results as they are shying away from telling good stories.

“India is rich in culture. There are so many stories in India that would make amazing cinema content but somehow directors are not doing it. Foreign filmmakers like Ang Lee and Danny Boyle have come and made wonderful films in India.

It shows that there are very interesting subjects and rich contents here,” Majidi said,adding that he did not like Boyle’s portrayal of India as it was a very “touristic vision”.

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Majidi made his debut as a director with ‘Baduk’ in 1992. But it was the 1998 movie ‘Children of Heaven’ that brought Majidi to prominence as it was the first Iranian film to be nominated at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category.

He followed it up with other films like ‘The Color of Paradise’,’Baran’,’The Willow Tree’,’The Song of Sparrows’ among others.

Majidi has been working in the Iranian film industry for over twenty years,and has directed ten feature films,each one gradually taking a more politicized approach to storytelling.

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When asked how much of politics should really impact filmmaking,Majidi said,”Politics and art are two different

subjects. They should not be combined. Art should always be in its purest form and not get affected by politics. We cannot ignore the fact that we get influenced by political situations but the artistes should try and find their way out.

“Making a film is not like bringing out a newspaper that you have to give the daily update of the situation of the country. It should be beyond all these issues,” he said.

An admirer of Indian culture,Majidi said the decision to shoot his next film in India,which is produced by Eye Candy Films,was easy.

“I always thought that if ever I have to make a film in any country besides Iran,it had to be India. Hence,I am here with my next film. India is rich in history and culture just like Iran and is one of the countries which is closet to the culture of Iran,” said Majidi

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First published on: 22-11-2013 at 01:50:52 pm

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