Ten Bollywood Movies Everyone Should See (Until 1975)

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It’s difficult to follow that, isn’t it — but we must move on — and the next port of call must be Mother India (1957), a film that is truly significant as a social commentary for the way that it encapsulated the trials and agonies of a newly-independent nation of (then) half a billion souls and the challenges that it faced to build a new society for itself. The film itself became a unifying factor in the birth of that great nation, something that everyone saw and rallied around — it had a story that touched on the weltanschaung of the Indian people as they set about their quest of building a nation. Directed by Mehboob Khan, it starred Nargis, and was actually an Indo-Russian co-production. Bollywood movies have always played well in Eastern Europe and Russia. The film is told in flashback and is the life story of Radha and Shamu (Raj Kapoor) and their two sons. It is a tale of hardship and poverty, but also the tale of a strong woman and perseverance. It is a tale of inequality but also of optimism for the future of India, symbolised by the building of a canal to the village. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But it’s unlikely that even the most hardened thug in Sing-Sing could watch this movie without tears in his eyes.

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