Thursday, November 5
Roxie Theater, San Francisco
Director: Faiza Ahmad Khan
Country/Year: India, 2008
Running Time: 52 mins
Language: Hindi with English subtitles
In this hilarious, rollicking ‘making-of-a-remaking’, filmmaker Faiza Ahmad Khan follows a motley film crew as they craft their micro-budget masterpiece, Superman of Malegaon. With the incessant clacking of power looms and sectarian clashes as backdrop, Khan lovingly chronicles Shaikh Nasir’s journey, from pre-production to premiere, revealing the strange and wonderful movie-madness that afflicts this small textile town.
Village talent and ingenuity are certainly not in short supply. Need a crane shot? A tilting bullock cart will do. Don’t have a dolly? Use a bicycle instead. Want to make Superman fly? Well, you can be sure there won’t be a stunt double. What Nasir lacks in budget, he makes up for in moxie, refusing to give up even when his handicam takes a swim and his leading man delays shooting by unexpectedly getting married.
Nasir, now a local hero, launched his career with a hilarious remake of the curry western Sholay. As Nasir said in an interview, “There is no other entertainment in our town. After 14 hours of backbreaking work in power looms daily, the workers want to wear wings and fly. My parodies help them escape."
Winner of the audience award at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, and the jury award for documentary feature at Italy’s annual Asian film festival, Asiatica Film Mediale. – Lucy Laird