Hindi film director Vikas Bahl, who broke into the mainstream with last year's acclaimed hit Queen, has worked in advertising, television, and radio, but decided to become a filmmaker only after watching Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades (2004).
The film, which starred Shah Rukh Khan, is considered by many to be one of the best Bollywood films of the past decade and features arguably Khan's most critically-lauded performance.
In an interview to prominent film critic Rajeev Masand, the video of which was uploaded online on Saturday, Bahl said that he watched Swades at a Bandra multiplex. His house was only a short walk away, but he only got as far as out of the gate before he sat on the pavement outside the theatre and broke down. "I realised that this [cinema] is the strongest medium possible to say something that you want to," he says, in the video.
Bahl says he connected with the film so strongly for many reasons. One was because the subjected "mattered" to him. "I remember my commerce teacher in the XIth standard saying that the best export of India happens free of cost," he says, "which is... our people. We train them and put everything behind them and then they leave our country to go work for other countries. Which is why we are where we are."
Having watched the film more than 50 times, Bahl says the film is "very, very motivating" and considers the scene in which Khan tears up after a boy at a railway station offers him water to be "one of the best moments" in Hindi cinema.
Watch the full interview above.
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