20 May 2011

Janabadi cinema or Maoist Cinema or Revolutionary Cinema: What is its Nepali Avatar ?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Janabadi Cinema. Marxist Cinema.Maoist Cinema.
What is Janabadi Cinema ? How is it different from other cinemas? Is it Marxist Cinema ? Is it Maoist Cinema ?

Answers to these questions are difficult to get. Some people believe there is nothing like Janabadi cinema. What they accept is there are two types of cinema– good and bad cinema. That’s all.

But to know about Janabadi cinema, you have to see some of these cinemas. Video Cassette shop owners can assist you. What you need to do is go and ask one of such owners about the cinema and he/she will provide more than ten cinemas which the owner thinks are Janabadi cinema. In this situation some of which you get might not be Janabadi cinema. Usually what you get are Lal Salam, Jannayudha, etc.

So, best way to know about Janabadi cinema is to ask the advocates of these cinemas. I know there are two such people Ramesh Bhattarai and Ishwor Chandra Gywali. Bhattarai and Gywali have written few articles on the issue.

Here I am relating what Gywali said about the cinema during an interaction program organized by Martin Chautari, Kathmandu, Nepal on 19 May 2011.

He thinks that Janabadi cinema depicts reality and it tries to create ambient of reality. With this description, he tried to differentiate between a melodrama and a Janabadi cinema. “Melodrama presents fantastic worlds”, he added. According to Gywali, What differentiates a Janabadi cinema from other cinema is that it provides a way of liberation to poor and downtrodden people. It is interesting that during the program he informed that there is no cinema in Nepal which he can pinpoint as Janabadi cinema. He opined that even Lal Salam and Junayuddha have weaknesses.

Do you believe that cinema can be Janabadi? Can this be the medium of liberation? I have questions only. Is there any Nepali avatar of Janabadi cinema ? What is Janabadi cinema ? What is Marxist cinema ? What is Maoist cinema ?

Can you answer me? Is anybody hearing?

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