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Bharat Stores opens tomorrow

Muralidhara Khajane
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Story of the little shop round the corner won a National Award

Touching tale:H.G. Dattatreya, Sudharani and Gurudutt are among the actors in the film directed by P. Sheshadri.
Touching tale:H.G. Dattatreya, Sudharani and Gurudutt are among the actors in the film directed by P. Sheshadri.

Bharat Stores by P. Sheshadri, which got the best regional film award in the 60th National Film Awards, will release at four screens in multiplexes and a few single screens in nine cities across the State this Friday.

Actors Sudharani, Gurudutt, H.G. Dattatreya (Dattanna), who got special mention for his performance in the role of Govinda Shetty, Prasad, Kumar and Padmakala are in the star cast.

The preview had special invitees such as the Jnanpith award recipient U.R. Ananthamurthy, who appreciated Mr. Sheshadri’s efforts in dealing with a situation that may well affect millions in the country in the days to come. “One needs courage and commitment to make a film on the subject and Mr. Sheshadri has exhibited both. The film effectively portrays the human [costs] of political decisions,” he observed.

Bharat Stores delineates how globalisation has resulted in mushrooming of malls and marts, killing off neighbourhood kirana shops and the families that depend on them.

After the screening, Mr. Sheshadri spoke on what inspired him to make Bharat Stores. The idea germinated when the United Progressive Alliance government announced its decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trade on September 14, 2012 and news channels aired fierce debates on the pros and cons of the government’s move. Recalling the days when he used to buy small packets of grocery for mere 25 paise from a petty shop near his house in Srinagar here, Mr. Sheshadri said a big mall that came up in the Kathriguppe area hastened the little shop’s demise.

He discussed the subject with his friends Girish Kasaravalli, J. Prahlad, Gopalakrishna Pai and Dattanna, who were enthused. “Basanth Kumar Patil, who produces my films, chipped in and Bharat Stores evolved,” he explained.

“I want to clarify one thing. I have not taken a stand either for or against FDI. I have just narrated the story of Govinda Shetty. It is up to the audience to take a stand on the issue,” Mr. Sheshadri said.

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