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Updated: February 2, 2010 14:31 IST

Retrospective on Guru Dutt draws huge response in Israel

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A poster of Guru Dutt's starrer
The Hindu Archives
A poster of Guru Dutt's starrer "Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam". The Hindu Archives

A retrospective of Bollywood legend Guru Dutt’s evergreen classics like ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’ and ‘Pyaasa’, is attracting huge response from film enthusiasts here.

The event, organised by the Indian mission in Israel in collaboration with the cinematheques of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, has become a success, especially with the first generation of Indian Jewish immigrants who have travelled from far off cities in the country to watch the films.

“It is not easy for me to come from Be’ersheva for the screenings but I have been driving back and forth, sometimes late in the night, to watch these movies. We grew up on these films,” the 72-year-old Eliyahu Yosef told PTI.

Yosef’s childhood friend, Haim Ramon, says that they are planning to see ‘Pyaasa’ a second time in Haifa on the 7th of this month.

“Pyaasa, for me, is Guru Dutt’s best film irrespective of its box office performance. Gulabo (Waheda Rehman) is at her refreshing best. Probably Dutt was too ahead of his times and people did not like the traditional values being challenged then,” Ramon said.

At a reception recently thrown by the Indian Ambassador in Israel, Navtej Sarna, to inaugurate the Guru Dutt Retrospective, more than 200 people turned up, in a clear sign of growing popularity of Bollywood in this country.

“Guru Dutt’s movies carried a strong social message and are as relevant today as they were in the 50s. He was a man who lived ahead of his time and a lot of people feel it wa the golden era of Indian cinema”, Sarna told the audience.

The effort was inspired by the huge success of Indian film festival in Israel recently for which Bollywood stars, Amol Palekar and Anupam Kher, also visited the country.

Some of the acclaimed films of the Bollywood legend like ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’, ‘Chaudavin ka Chand’, ‘Kagaz ke Phool’, ‘Pyaasa’, ‘Mr and Mrs 55’, ‘Baaz’ and ‘Jaal’ are being screened in the three largest cities of Israel.

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