(Florian Heinzen-Ziob & Georg Heinzen, India/Germany, 2015, 52mins) Set in a crumbling cinema palace in Mumbai Central, Original Copy is a charming portrait of artist and guru Sheikh Rehman–one of the last hand-painters of colorful Bollywood posters, packed with romance and action.
This intimate doc provides a window into a world in transition: while Rehman cajoles his team into hand-painting unique billboards every week, modernity is taking over. Today’s films are publicized on plastic posters, and audiences are swarming to multiplexes. Rehman is the keeper of a disappearing artform, but he won’t give up. Neither will the theater’s owner Najma, valuing history and heritage over profits.
Ultimately, this exemplary and insightful doc is about the magic of cinema, its power to forge culture and community, and the changing face of India’s film industry.