Bollywood's #MeToo reckoning: 'We thought it would take 20 more years'

The Guardian - Nov 02, 14:02 GMT

India’s leading film festival struck several controversial films from its lineup to make room for female-directed features and address a mood of change

India’s leading film festival struck several controversial films from its lineup to make room for female-directed features and address a mood of change. But will it halt harassment on set?

Introducing the recent series opener of India’s top-rated talk show, Koffee With Karan, the director-producer-personality Karan Johar championed Bollywood’s new-found “girl power”: 12 months of successes – such as the taut spy thriller Raazi and the raucous bridal comedy Veere di Wedding – that were led and authored by women. His guests, accordingly, were distaff royalty: reigning queen Deepika Padukone, newly radiant after surviving January’s trial-by-fire film Padmaavat, and beaming princess Alia Bhatt, Raazi’s immensely talented young lead. Reclined on Johar’s Nortonesque couch, Bhatt was offered a cuddly Sophie’s choice between her much-Instagrammed cats and beau Ranbir Kapoor; Padukone raised a suggestive eyebrow after asked what she first notices in a man.

If the show’s peppy tone was enjoyable, it felt strangely removed from the grim claims emerging on social media from women occupying the film industry’s lower ranks. India’s #MeToo movement – initiated in early October and gathering rapid pace online – cast a looming shadow over this week’s Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival, the event’s 20th. As creative director Smriti Kiran told me at the festival’s bustling Juhu hub: “#MeToo started to escalate two weeks before the festival, and we are one of India’s leading festivals, so everybody was looking at us. They wanted us to take responsibility. We wanted to take responsibility.”

Continue reading...
Read Full Story
uDailyNews.com ©2018
Edition : us | Sitemap