Book Review: Romancing With Cinema
Romancing with Cinema is not about any romance in Dr. Rai’s cinema or any romance that may have transpired during his film’s making. The book is about his love affair with the art of filmmaking that started with the first Indian film that he watched with his father when he was nine years old. The book starts with this journey and how he finally gets into screenplay writing, acting, and filmmaking in Sydney in 1998.
Romancing with Cinema is an intricate travelogue of Dr. Rai’s three decades plus experience as a filmmaker that weaves through his tremendous achievement as an independent filmmaker and a leading advocate of a decolonized narrative of global girmit history.
Since 1998, he has independently produced more than fifty films, and three hundred and fifty television segments and videos on a shoestring budget. He has produced more than forty films, videos, and songs directly relating to global girmit issues.
More than twenty-five of them were filmed across the length and breadth of India. He was the first person to make a film on ancestral searches of global girmityas in India in 2001. He has now produced ten such films in India.
His doctoral film In Exile at Home-a Fiji Indian Story was filmed in Fiji, India, and the UK. The last films featured in this book were filmed in India in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 international travel lockdown.
Dr. Rai’s travelogue since 1994 has taken him from London to India, and then from Australia, Fiji, India, and London.
Romancing with Cinema is a testimony to a person’s dedication to the art of filmmaking and passion for deconstructing the colonial and neo-colonial history of girmityas and commitment towards reuniting the descendants of the global girmityas with their millions of relatives in India.