The first comprehensive history of India’s film industry, one that now rivals Hollywood.
Hollywood may define our idea of movies but it is the city of Bombay on the west coast of India that is now the center of world cinema. Every year the Indian film industry produces more than a 1,000 feature films, every day fourteen million Indians go to a movie and, a billion more people a year buy tickets for Indian movies than for Hollywood ones. The rise of Bombay as the film capital of the world has been remarkable. Bollywood takes the cinematic tech-niques of Hollywood and uses them to produce movies that bear no relation to the original, but have a compelling appeal, that, in the last half a century, has enthralled audiences throughout eastern Europe, the Middle East and north Africa. The movies themselves are a self contained world with their multiple song and dance routines, intense melodrama, a plot that contains everything from farce to tragedy, but always produces a happy ending. The men and women who create these movies are even more remarkable and it is this fantastic, rich, diverse story, a veritable Indian fairyland that Mihir Bose, a native of Bombay, tells with vivid brilliance, in the first comprehensive history of this major social and cultural phenomenon.
Bollywood movies may only recently have begun to be noticed in the west, but they have long defined the very concept of cinema for many millions across the globe. While the name Bollywood echoes and acknowledges its bastard American parentage the son has long since taken over from the father