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|September 13, 2001||
Russians want more of Monsoon Wedding
Russia is perhaps the only country as thrilled as India about Mira Nair winning the coveted Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival, for her film Monsoon Wedding.
The versatile filmmaker became the first Indian, the second Asian and the first woman to win the top prize in the 58-year-old festival's history.
The news channels showed snippets from the film, depicting colourful dances, cheerful songs, exotic marriage rituals, and also excerpts from an interview with the director.
The print media was not to be outdone. Popular Moscow daily Izvestia, carried a front-page story with a photograph of Nair receiving the award, describing her as the "lioness" of the Indian film industry.
Another Moscow daily, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, described her achievement as the Indian film industry's conquest of Europe. "For the first time, a lady in a sari rose to the famous Venice stage to receive the Golden Lion," it states.
The daily traced Nair's meteoric rise from Calcutta's political theatre to the zenith of an international festival, generally dominated by Europe and America.
Mira Nair may not be as popular an Indian name as Raj Kapoor, Mrinal Sen or Amitabh Bachchan, but she has definitely carved a niche for herself among Russian film lovers. In fact, her earlier films Salaam Bombay and Kamasutra were big hits in Russia.
"Indian social life, its caste differences, strong family traditions and power of love are all reflected in Mira Nair's films," says Yuri Korchakov, Russia's best-known Indian film critic. "Monsoon Wedding can aspire to be a superhit here, as the film is replete with traditional Indian dances and melodious songs, so loved by Russians."
Indo-Asian News Service
A wedding to remember
The Mira Nair chat on Rediff
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