Monday, October 4, 2010

History of Nepali Cinema: Part III - Conflict & Downfall


nepal-maoist-404_673773cDuring mid 90s, Nepali films began to fare badly. Gradually, the film industry began to experience a very hard time, though productions did not cease altogether. One of the reasons for this were that the quantity of films outdid the capacity of the market and also most of the films lacked quality.
The start of the Maoist revolution in 1997 was the start of the downfall of the Nepali film industry. In the era of war and conflict, only a very small number of films were made, and audiences fell sharply. That resulted in lower budgets and even lower performances, which resulted in even smaller audiences. In the later years of the conflict, the production and release of Nepali films had come to a standstill.
Many actors and filmmakers left the country in search for work because there were no films being made. Popular cine artist had to flee abroad for even menial jobs. Some of the popular artist Nepali movie industry lost during the conflict era were Saroj Khanal, Karishma Manandhar, Tripti, Kristi Mainali, Gauri Malla, etc.
During the 90s, some filmmakers, mostly with non-fiction base, started championing for a new kind of cinema. They denounced the crude imitation of Bollywood aesthetics and demanded indigenous aesthetics and a more realistic approach. They made some films, which have received some critical acclaim at home and some international recognition. Historic movies like BalidanSeema Rekha made during this period were appreciated both by critics and audience.



he people’s movement - 2 in April 2006, ousted the autocratic monarch for the second and, in all probability, for the last time. Democracy has been restored and the rebels have agreed to join the government and resolve the conflict peacefully. Till then, Nepali Cine Sansar had been deserted. Popular stars like Bhuvan K.C, Shiva Shrestha, Rajesh Hamal had been almost written off from the media and industry. Nevertheless the return of peace in the country had opened more venues for the shooting of the films, and the industry is seen to be making good use of this time to revive the image of the industry.
To be continued…

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