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Bollywood!: 1990s and Beyond

This guide introduces you to some of the library's resources on Bollywood cinema.

Films of the 1990s

1990s and Beyond: Global Economy & Indian Society

Since the 1990s, Bollywood films have responded to two major developments. One, India’s integration into a global economy and the tumultuous social impact of this process. Two, the importance of overseas Indians, particularly those based in the West, to Indian society. Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) [There May Or May Not Be A Tomorrow] is a family drama involving NRIs (or Non-Resident Indians) based in New York. The film followed highly successful 1990s films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) [Something Happens] that explored similar terrain.

Bollywood is now itself part of the global economy. Sawaariya (2007) [My Love] a lavish love story produced by Sony was released in North America as well as India. Along with films that explore new social concerns, Bollywood has continued to produce films dealing with traditional subject matter. Characterized by sophisticated production values, these films are now meant for global audiences. Lagaan (2001) [Land Tax] is a story in which Indian peasants defeat their colonial overlords in a game of cricket and so manage to escape the burden of an odious tax. Films do continue to be made for the large rural Indian market. Bollywood has also turned reflexive. With its retro chic and homage to earlier films, Om Shanti Om (2007), wryly comments on Bollywood cliches such as reincarnation while joyously reveling in them. 

Text by Professor Rohit Chopra, Department of Communication, SCU

Films of the 2000s