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The Influence of Shakespeare on Bollywood

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The Birmingham Shakespeare Library contains works in over 90 languages. Among these are nearly 100 South Asian translations, adaptations, and modernisations of Shakespeare. In a special new film, DESIblitz explore how Shakespeare influenced Bollywood filmmaking through time.

From Indian theatres performing Shakespeare during the colonial era to modern blockbuster hits, Shakespeare’s plays have constantly enticed Indian theatre- and film-makers to use his work to tell their own stories.

In this documentary, Indian film experts and enthusiasts share their views on how Shakespeare swayed scripts and how, conversely, Bollywood’s depiction of Indian culture provided a rich lens for re-interpreting the Bard’s stories.

This documentary seeks to reconnect the diversity of the Shakespeare Memorial Library to this vibrant city and the people to whom it belongs.

The Influence of Shakespeare on Bollywood is a collaboration with Everything to Everybody, unlocking the world’s first great people’s Shakespeare library for all.

Running time

60 minutes

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Everything to Everybody

The University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council are collaborating on a £1.7 million plan to revive the city’s almost-forgotten Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library, housed in the iconic Library of Birmingham – and the first great Shakespeare library in the world, as well as one which from the very beginning has belonged to all the people of the city.

Find out more here.

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