[Luxus Magazine] Bollywood: the origins of the Indian star system

The Indian subcontinent is not only home to the world’s most populous state (1.4 billion souls), it is also home to the world’s largest film industry, attracting a fervent following in the country and beyond: that of Bollywood films.


Following on from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, “Bollywood Superstar” is now on show at the Musée du Quai Branly, with over 200 works of art, posters, film extracts and stage costumes, all presented in a gaudy, luminescent scenography worthy of the tales of 1001 Nights. The perfect remedy for the winter blues.


Indian Cinema has its roots in shadow theater, magic lanterns and age-old mythological storytelling.


Devdas movie, 2002 © Warner Bros Pictures/Mega Bollywood


Among the first to discover the Lumière brothers’ cinematograph, the Indians have since developed a booming business around the production of skilfully interpreted and choreographed films.


To the point of surpassing Hollywood production, at a rate of 2,000 films every year. These productions are exported far beyond the borders of the sub-continent, whether via the Indian diaspora – one of the largest in the world – Southeast Asia or the rigorist kingdoms of the Middle East.


Yet this cinema remains largely misunderstood in the West, with Bollywood wrongly equated with all Indian productions.

Featured Photo: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan dans le film Devdas (2002) © Musée du Quai Branly

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Picture of Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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