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tv   Talking Movies  BBC News  December 1, 2019 10:30am-11:01am GMT

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different points on the earth's surface at different times. if you crack a whip the tip will go through the sound barrier and that is what you hear. now it's time for a look at the weather with sarah. they cold frosty start to the first day of meteorological winter, 1st of december, mist and fog now starting to clear away and through the rest of today, things looking mostly dry and sunny. some rogue showers in the afternoon in parts of east anglia, east coast of england, northern scotland. most other places, dry, patchy cloud lingering but certainly feeling pretty chilly. fairly light winds and sunshine to compensate. clear skies tonight across england and wales particularly, more cloud for northern ireland and scotland
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and rain in the north—west. not as cold here as it was last night. sharp cross bleep frost across england and wales. —— sharp frost. fog clearing first thing. slightly cloudierfor northern fog clearing first thing. slightly cloudier for northern ireland and scotla nd cloudier for northern ireland and scotland with patchy rain. another cold day with highs of 6—9d. goodbye. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... the government is reviewing the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist
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freed from prison, after the attack at london bridge. i think it's ridiculous. i think it's repulsive that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that is why we are going to change the law. i think there has to be an examination of how our present —— prison services work and crucially what happens to them on release from prison. two people, including 25—year—old jack merritt, were killed in the attack by a man who had beenjailed in 2012 for his role in an al-qaeda inspired plot. to the streets to maintain pressure on the territory's bejing—backed government. former wales rugby captain gareth thomas says he wants breaking the stigma around hiv to be his everlasting legacy in an interview with prince harry to mark world aids day.
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now on bbc news, talking movies celebrates its 20th anniversary as the programme travels to mumbai to take stock of bollywood. hello and welcome to talking movies, in india. i'm tom brook. in today's programme, we will be covering some of the latest developments in indian cinema. indian cinema is really taking a step forward in the right direction. the ongoing hold movies have on indian audiences — what bollywood is offering them appears to be changing. india's official submission to the oscars, gully boy, the country's first hip—hop movie. critically acclaimed, but will make it onto the shortlist? and what is driving the wave
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of patriotic and nationalist movies which have been showing in indian cinemas? these things are very much to do with how powerful certain individuals are. and one year after bollywood's me too moment, has anything really changed in the indian film industry? plus, one director of short films gives us an inside look at the world of shorts, an important part of the indian film landscape. all that and more in this special india edition of talking movies. the indian film industry is in a state of rude health. it remains the most prolific producer of movies in the world. it enjoys strength at the domestic box office, and it retains a special, very tight bond with audiences. watching movies is a national pastime. we don't have that many options as far as entertainment
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is concerned, so, for the weekend, i think it is one of the best options we have. we love drama, we love entertainment, moviegoing is in our blood, yeah. i think movies are so critical to indians, in every form. whenever i want to have some fun, i come and watch movies. film curator meenakshi shedde is an ardent film—goer, like her fellow indians. we have a ferocious passion for the movies which you don't find in any other country. there is a passion for moviegoing everywhere in the world, but i think, in india, it reaches a level of insanity, like it is in our dna, that no other country in the world can compete. india produces films in 55 languages and dialects, but it is the hindi language cinema known as bollywood which gets most of the attention. for years, bollywood has turned out song and dance extravaganzas. the standard issue bollywood film
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as it used to be was one that had a big movie starfronting it, it used to have great songs that you could dance to, that you could hum, it used to have a romance that was integral, it used to have conflict, there was a bit of action, a bit of drama, a little bit of everything for everybody. but i think that has changed. i don't think there is the one big one—size—fits—all hindi film. the criticism is made often that bollywood actors are used as props... varun dhawan is one of bollywood's biggest stars, who sees change afoot in bollywood cinema. it's evolved so much today, you know, we have songless thrillers, we have films that talk about so many different things about the justice system, we talk about women empowerment, we talk about the scientific achievements of india, so i think indian cinema is really taking a step forward in the right direction. do you think it is important then that these films, these bollywood films, do address real issues? although it is escapism, they are touching on issues that mean a lot to indians?
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that is what the audience is accepting now. nobody wants to see just a frivolous film or a mild film, they want to see something being said. you have to stand for something eventually. that is what people are enjoying, those are the type of films i am picking up. i want to do a film where i look great, there will be dancing, entertain people, comedy, action, but the film has to eventually say something, it has to hit upon a topic which moves people. bollywood movies have a huge following of course in india and the diaspora, and they are popular in china. the indian film industry is incredibly resilient and independent. hollywood owns just a small percentage of the indian market. cinema in india remains a vital part of national life and the national economy. in the history of the oscars, india has only been nominated five
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times in the foreign language film category. this year, the country has submitted a picture called gully boy for academy awards consideration. will this critically acclaimed movie make it onto the oscars shortlist? rapping in own language. a commercial hit that has won critical attention, gully boy is an indian cinema success story. set against the backdrop of the slums in mumbai, it traces the story of a talented rapper. farhan akhtar and ritesh sidhwani co—produced the film. it is such a deep association with indian film, that music is so inherently a part of it. gully boy was directed by zoya akhtar, farhan akhtar‘s sister. it is an underdog story, a story that can be related to by many people across major cities in the world, where there is a serious economic disparity between the haves and have—nots. this film focuses on one such character, who has this dream to be someone, in a city that is
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the city of dreams. and it is kind of, on some level, a dark fairytale story, if you want to call it that, a gritty fairytale story. you immediately connect and identify with the protagonist in the film. you can see what hisjourney is, you can feel him, so i think there was an instant emotional connect and, by the end of it, you want to see him succeed. i think it shows you both sides, it shows you the fact that mumbai is a place where it is possible for dreams to come true, but it also shows you a mumbai that can strip you of dignity if you don't have money. so, to be able to retain that dignity, it takes a lot of courage, and i feel it also talks about that. the film is india's first hip—hop movie. you see it as breaking new ground for indian cinema? it definitely is bringing the hip—hop underground culture that exists very, very strongly in india, it is bringing that into the mainstream.
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there are so many other artists across india who are going to now start being considered stars and will find a lot more people wanting to hear what it is they have to say. gully boy's oscar chances are hard to discern. it feels different and more of the moment than the traditional indian fare that is put forward for academy awards. gully boy definitely has an aesthetic and energy that may resonate with the academy's changing, younger and more diverse, membership. india has an incredibly rich history as a producer of films, yet has never won a best foreign film oscar, why do you think that is? i think we usually, and rightfully so, have been telling stories for our own people. but as the world is changing and as storytelling is becoming more global, the way we share
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stories is becoming easier. we have started realising and recognising now that, you know what, there is an audience that we can reach without having the struggle of the past, to be able to get to them. and tell them stories and then if we want them to engage with us, we will have to tell them stories they would like to see. it has been a year since bollywood had its me too moment. actors, writers and producers accused a number of high—profile industry figures, raising serious questions about work culture in bollywood. but where do matters stand one year on? well, suranjana tewari reports. it is just over a year since bollywood had its me too moment. what started on social media quickly spiralled into allegations against more than 60 directors, actors and producers, some of them prominent. it is not a bollywood habit, it is an india habit. one year on, those who spoke up say the movement's momentum has slowed. i now realise, a year later, that this was more of a social movement, and, legally, we still need to progress and evolve
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at a far greater pace. producer and director vinta nanda came out last year accusing veteran actor alok nath of rape in 1999. her court case against him continues, but in january, nath he was given bail without being arrested, with the court ruling he could have been framed. his lawyers have filed a court case for defamation. some working in the industry are frustrated with how unequal the movement has been. some have very openly gone back to work. some have not. and these things are all very much to do with, you know, how powerful certain individuals are, and what other powerful people they know and what the network is. in the aftermath of it all, konkona sen sharma joined a collective of 11 women filmmakers who promise not to work with proven offenders. so, what more needs to be done?
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film sets and film productions have become more inclusive spaces, definitely, and there are far more women working, but there is a lot left to be done. everybody needs to take the onus, everyone who is working, especially people who are in power. when it comes to assessing india's me too movement on the film industry, the jury is still very much out. some say the momentum is waning and that more needs to be done. but others working in the film industry say they are seeing changes on set that better protect women. production houses have started setting up sexual harassment committees on sets, even though the law required their existence for several years. but complying with laws that are already there isn't always easy. ideally, i should not be telling a grown human being to behave himself or herself. anusha khan has been working with production houses to raise awareness around sexual harassment. she says many victims feel they do not have enough of a support structure at work to speak up.
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i would not be surprised if somebody who wants to speak out would think twice before doing so, because... ..due process was not followed or because the issue was not addressed. what has changed, to my mind, and happily so, is that we are speaking out. it is a classic example of a woman using as a weapon the very law that was made to protect her. bollywood has long made films based on social issues, and section 375 was no different, exploring allegations of rape against a powerful director by a costume assistant. it received backlash for its theme of a false allegation, but it was appreciated in some circles for discussing male privilege, consent and the abuse of power. there has been certain criticism about the film in certain sections,
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saying that it is misogynistic and brings down the me too movement and is strategically timed to counter the me too movement, but there is no reference to me too and it should not be inferred that way anyway. india's film industry is one of the biggest in the world and, so, me too has forced many to reflect on the impact of the movement. there were some women who did speak out, who were not terribly well—known or very famous, or very powerful or anything, and they did suffer, very publicly. i don't think they got much work and there was a certain amount of ridicule. i feel that the a—listers, actually, are the ones who have nothing to lose. they are far beyond the money that they had signed up for, they are far beyond the fame they had signed up for, they have got everything they want. and they can put their foot down.
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but none of them have, in india. and that is really, really unfortunate. the day one a—lister comes out is when i will say, yeah, ok, now change has started taking place. the greatest test will be where the film industry's me too travels from here and whether it genuinely helps make india's sets and workplaces safer for women. patriotic films can be seen on an almost routine basis in indian cinemas — movies appealing to nationalist sentiment, stories of military or sports triumphs. many of these films have already been shown in cinemas, and many, many more are in the pipeline. uri — the surgical strike, released at the start of this year in india, is a very successful patriotic film. it is a fictionalised account of a retaliatory covert operation by the indian army, striking pakistani militants who attacked a base
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on indian territory. i remember going to multiplexes and people were holding their indian flags and singh jain. the film was directed by aditya dhar. he believes it definitely played into the country's patriotic fervour. one of the most important aspects of uri was the patriotism part of it and it actually displays the patriotism in terms of, not only in the film, but the kind of reviews it got and the kind of love it got. it kind of gives you an idea of the patriotism indians have inherently in them and that is why i think the film worked, and i think that is something that will always work, as long as it is a patriotic film and as long as the story is great, it will work. uri is just one of several patriotic movies. there's mission mangal focussing on a space expedition to mars. and then a film called toilet — a love story, with content closely
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allied to the government's efforts to improve rural sanitation. what is driving this wave of patriotic films? many think it is the same right—wing forces that brought the indian prime minister narendra modi to power. bollywood, i guess like many major industries, is kind of a language where it wasn't far at the moment, but it really reflects a much deeper right—wing nationalism now and i think that connects with a much, much, much deeper right—wing nationalism that's in the country. it's a very right—wing nationalist government we've had, recently re—elected for a five—year term. this is very deep rooted, so we've had stories of patriotism but bollywood is very much reflecting that. when uri — the surgical strike was being shown in cinemas, audiences came with indian flags, wearing indian flag t—shirts, and they whistled and clapped. their passion for india was polarised and forcefully expressed. isn't there a danger, with films like yours, that could, in a way, end up driving india and pakistan further apart, rather than bringing them together? in that film, it actually never says anything bad about the pakistanis.
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it is only saying bad about the terrorism. if somebody connects that to pakistan, that's their mistake. in the film, also, if you see the war is against terrorism, so that is the story, that's the reality and we're actually trying to say, portray exactly what happened in those nine, ten days. historically, there has long been a strain of nationalism in indian cinema, but this most recent wave is seen as quite different. our early nationalist films were before independence, where it was about throwing the british out and becoming an independent country. there were a lot of those in various guises. and of course, a newly independent india, again, is nationalistic, very nation—building. we had mother india, in 1957, which was about nargis being a farmer with a plough, and raising her sons alone because the husband was a useless guy, so very much nationalistic, honouring the peasant, honouring the worker kind of nationalism. very genuine. it had really something to say, it had a comment, also a socio—economic comment, not just about politics. this trend of patriotic films seems
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more politically—driven by nationalist sentiment. it has not yet become a permanent component of indian cinema today, but it is certainly moving in that direction. yes, there are a lot of films which are coming out which are based on patriotism and i think, in the next one or two years, there are going to be a lot more, a lot, lot more. short films in india have seen a major resurgence in recent times. many of these shorts explore the struggle facing women in india, especially around the issues of violence and equality. tariq vasudeva, a short film—maker himself, takes an inside look at the growth of short films. short films in india have recently made a strong impression at major international film festivals. circus, a short film that i wrote and directed, explores the visible class and gender divide in urban india.
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the film reflects the challenges faced by indian society in understanding cases of violence against women. counterfeit kunkoo, directed by reema sengupta, is another short film that explores the unequal treatment of a single woman in mumbai, who is unable to find a house without her husband. the objective was always cinema for social change. that is what i really, really wanted to do. sengupta found that this story resonated with people from all over the world. i remember there was this, i think, 70—year—old woman who came to me and said that her mother experienced housing discrimination like this in newjersey of the ‘705. and when we were screening in la, i remember there was this indian woman came up to me at the end of it, held my hand and said, "i am starting my life again from scratch after 18 years of a bad marriage and watching your film made me feel like i will be fine."
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and that was definitely the most fulfilling moment of the entire festival journey for us. there is an overwhelming desire among short film—makers in india to break the stereotype associated with the typical song and dance bollywood musicals. at once daring and provocative, many short films are confidently following a style of realism that hopes to mirror the glaring inequalities in indian society. many of these films also have a strong sense of artistic freedom in their cinematic choices. guneet monga was executive producer on the oscar—winning short documentary film, period.end of sentence. the film follows a group of local women in the small town of hapur india as they learn to operate a machine that makes low—cost biodegradable sanitary pads, which they then sell to other women at affordable prices. monga is also content advisor for digital platforms,
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flipkart and mubi, which are showing a keen interest in the short film format. mubi, already an established online portal for arthouse cinema in other countries, has recently launched in india. flipkart has also commissioned many short films. the access has increased and that is directly related to the need in the business that has increased, which is why there are so many shorts being commission and, for me, the most exciting part is it allows me to interact with other film—makers, first—time directors, dops, editors, producers, costume designers, production designers. sengupta and monga believe short films are able to lead the charge of a new dawn of realistic indian cinema, due to the advent of many digital platforms that are adding short films to their catalogue. what is really exciting about, say, the last five years, is that it's being looked at as its own medium, so, as that trend is taking over, of course, instead of a feature
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film, a shot film is also being consumed as an independent content piece. it's going to create more market opportunities and it is going to force the industry to have a very democratic approach of infusing more people. the power is going to democratise with many more people thanjust a few film families, because it is going tojust expand and that is what is happening and that's what i'm excited about. that brings this a special india edition of talking movies to a close. we hope you've enjoyed the show. please remember, you can always reach us online and you can find us on facebook too. from me, tom brook, and the rest of the production crew, here in mumbai, it is goodbye, as we leave you with a clip from gully boy, the film that india has put forward this year for academy awards consideration.
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hello. a cold frosty morning to welcome in the first day of
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meteorological winter. quite a hard frost in the northern half of the uk in mistand frost in the northern half of the uk in mist and fog that this beautiful picture taken by a weather watcher in stirling shows the fog setting over the lower ground but it is starting to lift for many now. patches of mist and fog could linger in the afternoon. away from the hills, today looking mostly dry with plenty of sunshine. a few rogue showers particularly in east anglia, lincolnshire, a little bit of mist and fog lingering in southern parts of englert and wales, the midlands. showers for northern ireland, north—east england and scotland too. away from the coast, most places looking largely dry. warming up in a hurry despite the blue sky and sunshine. if you see the mist and the fog lingering in the central belt, temperatures just a the fog lingering in the central belt, temperaturesjust a degree above freezing. elsewhere, 6—8d. breezy on some of the coast with a
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few showers, some in the far south—east for a time this evening, they should fade away and england and wales over night looking dry, clear and cold, more cloudy northern ireland as scotland, not as cold here. a sharp frost in the south tomorrow. little bit milder as we have milder air starting to push on from the north—west associated with these weather fronts, rainfall scotla nd these weather fronts, rainfall scotland tomorrow, initially patchy for the western isles pushing east across all of scotland through the day. light and patchy, not raining for very long. cloudy skies for scotland, north of england and northern ireland too. further south, more sunshine but still chilly with temperatures 6—9d. monday night! fairly dense fog patches forming across southern england in particular and some will be selected clear on tuesday in parts of england
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and wales —— slow to clear. dry across the board on tuesday, mist and fog lifting, sunny spells, and temperatures on the chilly side, 5-10d. temperatures on the chilly side, 5—10d. things clouding overfrom the north—west later and that is ahead ofa north—west later and that is ahead of a bit of north—west later and that is ahead ofa bit ofa north—west later and that is ahead of a bit of a change in the weather from mid week. we start on the chilly note, but from mid week, milder, many back into double figures, some rain on the cards in the north and west. cold, frosty and bright winter's day for many.
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this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11. after the attack at london bridge, the prime minister says the licences of 7a other people out on early release after terror offences are being reviewed i absolutely deplore the fact that this man was out on the streets. i think it is absolutely repulsive, and we are going to take... that repulsive thing happened under the conservatives, it was a conservative legislation in the conservative regime. i think there has to be an examination of how our prison services work and crucially what happens to someone released from prison. two people, including 25—year—old jack merritt, were killed in the attack by a man who had beenjailed in 2012 for his role in an al-qaeda inspired plot. former wales rugby captain gareth thomas says he wants breaking


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