Opening 9 Mar 2017
India’s traditional Hindi language movies based in Mumbai, Maharashtra and nicknamed “Bollywood” is exportable pop-culture, yet a tip of the iceberg of India cinema. We see another aspect of that industry in this documentary. Directors Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen concentrate on a small cinema and staff struggling to survive in an ever-shrinking industry, where theatre duplexes and technical advancements prevail. Through the perspectives of the poster artist (S. Rehman) whose works adorn the entrance marquee, the cinema owner (Najma Loynmoon), and manager (Huzefa A. Bootwala), they paint a bleak picture. Their years of dedication and commitment have forged close, tight bonds of familial-like fondness.
Interspersing lifestyle scenes between the interviews, editor Florian Heinzen-Ziob’s fondness for Enno Endlicher’s camerawork is obvious. Endlicher’s framing, handling of difficult low-light settings, and scope is measured, inviting interest. Heinzen-Ziob, on the other hand, edits with the deliberateness of a tortoise. Watching Rehman drawing, coaching assistants – “…with fear you won’t get any better” and them working holds our attention. Touching are Loynmoon’s tale of personal drama, and Bootwala’s of loyal perseverance. Worthy of mention is Sanjay Marathe’s music, and Kai Holzkämper’s sound work. The team’s labors won a couple awards for Original Copy while making the film festival circuit. Apropos being drawn out and plodding, unfortunately its charm becomes tedious. (Marinell Haegelin)