(Ashutosh Gowariker, India 2004, 189 min., 35mm, Hindi w/subtitles)
Stories of Indian Cinema. After the immense commercial and critical success of his historical drama Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, producer/writer/director Ashutosh Gowariker decided to tackle a pressing contemporary issue—and do so in a slightly more contemplative way. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan plays a brilliant scientist working for NASA, who discards a shining international career to return to his home country and apply his knowledge and skills to the development of Indian countryside. Swades became an instant cult classic in India, further cementing the status of Khan as the “King of Bollywood” while demonstrating that he is also perfectly capable of serious roles.
See the exhibition! On view in the museum, Stories of Indian Cinema: Abandoned & Rescued tells the behind-the-scenes tale of how the Eastman Museum acquired the largest collection of contemporary Indian cinema at any museum or archive in the world.