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Varsity 1 Friday, April 13, 2018 - 3:00 PM  add this block to your calendar
Shakespeare Wallah
Shakespeare Wallah with James Ivory and Bill Rauch
Narrative Feature
122 minutes
Director(s): James Ivory
The elegiac and atmospheric Shakespeare Wallah  was the feature film that put Merchant Ivory Productions on the international movie map. Now recognized as a classic, the film’s inspiration lies in the real-life adventures of a traveling theater group in India during the Final days of English colonial rule. The Buckingham Players try to uphold British tradition by staging Shakespeare plays for the general public, boarding schools, and local royalty, but are unable to compete with the wildly popular Bollywood film industry. The film traces the developing relationship between the acting troupe’s young ingénue, Lizzie, and Sanju, a wealthy Indian playboy. Their romance is beset by hindrances, not the least being the machinations of Manjula, a fiery Indian film star who is also in love with Sanju.
Director’s Statement 

We were making movies in India in English for a western audience. Nobody had ever done that. They weren’t all that successful commercially, although there was one big star of those movies and that was Shakespeare Wallah, which kind of made our name. We had to be independent. There was nobody else who wanted to do what we wanted to do. And then we began to make films in the United States and those too were independent because nobody else was interested in doing what we were doing. Even when we were working with the studios, it was independent. 
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