In a singularly sombre year for the Indian people, Hindi cinema offered some bright sparks in 2016. Some thoughtful, creative and inventive films with unusual themes and real people, were on offer.
Jay Mazoomdar recounts a telling conversation he had with three young men in Varanasi after the elections. ‘“More than Muslims here, now Pakistan and China will be scared,” one of them said disarmingly.
I remember the film was Vittoria de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. I still recall that the impact it had on me, akin to a sudden shaft of sunlight engulfing my heart. I was captivated, enchanted by evidence of what art could accomplish.