Movies, Memories, Magic celebrates the hybrid cinematic and cultural heritage sculpted by London’s South Asian communities across time and space. Cinema has served as a vital bridge between cultures and countries, for South Asians in Britain. This documentary is the result of a year-long Heritage Lottery-supported South Asian heritage project – Memories Through Cinema, led by the UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) in collaboration with Queen Mary, University of London. The project received a Queen Mary University Community Engagement Award in November 2018.
The film paints a vibrant picture of how iconic South Asian films screened in renowned cinema halls in London, from the winding alleyways of Brick Lane to the bustling streets of Southall, galvanised cultural conversations and shaped trends in music, food, fashion and politics. From cinema stalwarts such as Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, film classics such as Mother India and Sholay and the razzmatazz of Bollywood, to the bold and bravura brand of new Indian Indie cinema, the film’s inter-generational contributors reminisce about how cinema spaces and viewing practices have transformed over time. This film is testament to how the magic of movies and the indelible memories they inscribe have catalysed a hyphenated cultural identity - rooted in local London and blended with global South Asian culture.
Join us for a free screening followed by Q&A with the film’s director Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram.
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