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Dharma, 1973

Dharma, 1973, Museum Series

showcard, c. 1975, 70 X 44.5 cm (27.5 X 17.5 inches)
tinted gelatin silver print and poster paint on board with screen-printed lettering
(what is a showcard?)

Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema ShowcardsIndian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980sShowcards from The Hartwick Collection. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011, p. 97, Cat. no. 45.

'Dharma’ is a central concept throughout Indian philosophy that implies one’s righteous duty or virtuous path. This 1973 film, Dharma, features Rekha - winner of many Best Actress Awards and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.  Throughout her career, Rekha has been seen as a sex symbol in the Indian media. She is often referred to as ‘The Diva of Bollywood’.

"This movie is about the tension between Chandan Singh, a bandit living in isolation with his followers and wife, and the police chief. A series of losses mostly involving their wives and daughters who seem to bear the brunt of bad male behaviour, affect both their families,. In this showcard, the head of each of the main characters is made to fit around the space of a handgun, referencing the theme of crime in the film, and emotional intensity is conveyed through the yellow and orange background.  The focus on the actors’ faces and expressions, reflects a shift in Bollywood graphic design with the rising importance of stardom. 

The film Dharma (1973) was produced by S. K. Kapoor of Kapoor Films and directed by Chand. Music by Sonik Omi. Colour, Hindi, starring Navin Nischol, Rekha and Pran."

--Additional text by Dr. Deepali Dewan and Alexandra McCarter, based on Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s. Showcards from The Hartwick Collection. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011. Copyright of and reproduced here with the generous permission of the Royal Ontario Museum.

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