As a director, producer and star, Raj Kapoor (1924-88) became one of India’s leading filmmakers during the so-called “golden age” of Indian cinema in the first two decades following the nation’s independence in 1947. Kapoor is in some ways a lynchpin, a Janus figure, with one face looking back to the aspirations of the era of independence and the other toward the present state of star-driven Hindi cinema with its mass appeal and global audience.
In his lifetime, Kapoor’s most popular work was released in the US only in abbreviated versions, and he never attained celebrity here. Now RK Films has made new, English-subtitled 35mm prints of seven of Kapoor’s most important films, presented by the Harvard Film Archive and the South Asian Initiative, with the help of the Toronto International Film Festival and the International Indian Film Academy.
Samir Dayal, Associate Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University introduced the series. Click here to read his remarks.