“What was revealing to me was the city,” says Sharma.“I thought here I was looking for the production and circulation of music, but it took me to spaces where everything was precarious.” In one such scene, the camera slowly pans over Adarsh Nagar, a decrepit area in the northern suburbs of Mumbai that used to house music studios of a lot of Bhojpuri artists, including Patowary’s. Sharma asks them what will happen to the ‘industry’ now that they have lost these studios.The narrative that emerges from this economy renders the documentary the aesthetics of a narrative feature.
“The industry keeps growing and moving, here and there,” she is told.
A look at science fiction’s cult classic, and the ideas it espoused.
She acknowledges that she herself is an outsider to the culture of her protaganists and is sensitive to this sense of the other.
She is careful not to reduce her protagonists or their milieu into symbolic kitsch.
It’s this controlled chaos that makes Bidesia in Bambai compelling.
In popular notion, documentaries in our country are still looked down upon for being ‘boring’, or ‘instructional’.
Even though he has lived in Mumbai for over 15 years, it is still “Bambai” for him, and he, a Bidesia here (someone who leaves home).
On the other end of the spectrum—both financially and artistically—is Kalpana Patowary, a singer from Assam, who is now a renowned singer in the Bhojpuri music industry.
New characters or scenes are seldom introduced through texts or voice-overs.
Instead the director trusts her viewers to plug the missing pieces themselves. So, even if I have a specific set of questions, but during the conversation if the person leads me away from my questions to a different realm all together, I happily go along and that determines the structure [of the film],” says Sharma.