National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC), located in the heart of Bollywood, Mumbai is not just an exhibit of films made in India over a century, but a celebration of our rich heritage.
Credits: The Heritage Cinema
The museum is housed in two buildings: Gulshan Mahal and the ‘New Museum Building’. Gulshan Mahal is the 19th-century Victorian bungalow that takes the visitor on a nostalgic journey of a hundred years of Indian Cinema, from the early silent movies to the advent of talkies. You cannot help but wonder how the first full-length film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was made without a female actor.
Credits: Deccan Herald
The museum thoroughly respects the diversity of India as popular films made in regional languages are showcased, clubbed with the category of parallel cinema. It shows the unique presence of Indian Cinema which is an excellent example of democratization.
Credits: The Heritage Lab
The museum also provides for thematic diversity, exhibiting topical films on wide-ranging subjects such as exhibits on Mahatma Gandhi and World War II. The second floor of the New Museum Building is exclusively dedicated to Gandhiji.
Credits: Business Standard
It ironically portrays that despite his dislike for films, Gandhi was at the center of many films like ‘Ram Rajya’ and Munnabhai MBBS. Even Charlie Chaplin was influenced by Gandhi in making famous films like ‘Modern Times’ and ‘The Great Dictator’. Filmmakers were attracted to his political philosophy and showed how he stood against colonialism, racism, and violence.
The museum also hosts a gallery on legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray whose lifelike hyper-realistic statue in a characteristic posture and piercingly looking at the world over the camera welcomes visitors. The gallery, inaugurated by Shyam Benegal helps visitors interactively explore Ray’s filmography and get an actual glimpse of many of his scenes that have gone into filmmaking. Besides getting an overview of the filmmaker’s world, one can also appreciate how, by adopting classic literature in films, he transformed into an auteur.
The exhibition helps the visitors to discover Ray, who got the Oscar Award in 1992 for ‘lifetime achievement’ and was lovingly called ‘Manik Da’ for the jewels he left for us 30 years ago. One must definitely visit the museum, which is much more than a roller coaster ride! National Museum of Indian Cinema is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm.
Featured Image Source: The Heritage Lab