In India, the slum and the popular cinema bear a tremendous metaphorical affinity towards each other. Popular cinema in India can even be called in many ways and quite often, the slum’s point of view of Indian politics and society. There is in both of them the same stress on the lower middle class sensibilities and the same ability to shock the haute bourgeoisie with the directness, vigor and even crudity of everyday realities.
Just like the discarded, obsolete population that inhabits the unintended city is a constant embarrassment to the rest of their urban brethren, the style of popular cinema is often an embarrassment for the devotees of art films and high culture. These discards show the same cussed unwillingness to bow out of history, the same obstinate ability to return and ‘illegitimately’ occupy a large space in public domain, geographically just as the popular cinema does, psychologically.
The documentary, Slum, Suburbia and Bollywood will try to explore the extent to which the commercial Indian cinema reflects as well as shape our everyday life and contributes to the growth of popular culture of sorts (which may not be the mass culture).