Why do not we produce a worldclass cinema? A cinema which does not make me feel embarrassed. Why do not our film makers latch on to such subjects as “Citizen Kane” “Rashomon” and these kind. When shall the audience realise that what they are seeing is an assault on the senses rather than some realistic portrayal?
One day all my questions were answered when I was watching a film named ‘Kashmir Ki Kali.’ The film was made in the late 50s and it was made in Eastman color. I was taken by the purity of the film of the times. It was unabashed escapism. It never touched the real issues of those days and the backdrop of the film was a love story in Kashmir. The film showed Kashmir in all its glow and charm and for once I knew why it was called “Jannat.” And then I remembered the Kashmir problem which plagued the two countries, India and Pakistan. The original problem started a few years before the film was made and yet the love story did not touch the problem the state faced. All it showed was an escape to paradise.
Then I realised that what the people of the times wanted is escapism from their hardships. They wanted a balm to their wounds they received from the horrors of partition. Remember not one film was made on the theme of partition and later the mass murders that followed. The films of 50s and 60s never showed blood spilling on screen as people were vexed with it in real life. The film makers realised that it was not the time to open the unhealed wounds and instead helped with their escapist and entertaining fares which transported the viewer to a paradise just like the way, ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ did.
And now all my bitterness towards escapist cinema is gone. Rather I would salute to all those film makers who entertained the audience of the times. They were true patriots to make the country recover from the trauma it went through. They have united warring brothers with their entertaining sagas.
Now I would long to see more of escapist cinema and transport it to mend fences all over the world.
Cheers and Love,