Tag Archives: Awaara

Big Screen Berkeley: Shadow and light in “Awaara”

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Charlie Chaplin may have been The Little Tramp, but unbeknown to most Occidental film fans, he had some serious competition in the screen hobo sweepstakes. I’m referring, of course, to Indian filmmaker and actor Raj Kapoor.

Born in Peshawar in 1924 and one of the biggest stars of post-independence Indian cinema, Kapoor was frequently cast as cheeky rogues struggling against the strictures of stuffy high society while pitching woo to ladies far above his station. Massively popular at home, he was also a huge star throughout Eastern Europe, Russia, and China.

Beyond the festival circuit, however, his films remain virtually unknown to westerners. Perhaps his greatest film, Awaara (The Tramp), all but forgotten in the U.S. until an airing on Turner Classic Movies in 2003, screens at Pacific Film Archive at 7:45 pm on Saturday, July 28th as part of the Archive’s current series, ‘The Eternal Poet: Raj Kapoor & the Golden Age of Indian Cinema’. … Continue reading »

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