Topic: 1968 - Movie Theatres and Rioting in Mauritius
Phenomenal Film Handler
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011
posted 01-22-2018 09:35 PM
My wife is from Mauritius so she keeps up on the news. She just showed me this article.
the street flares up ... cinemas are empty ..
A fight breaks out at the Venus cinema. As a wildfire, violence spreads in this month of January 1968. The state of emergency is decreed. British soldiers arrive ...
We are Monday, January 22, 1968. The streets of Port-Louis are difficult to recover from the events of the day before. Yesterday, Sunday, January 21, Port Louis was the scene of a violent scene of no fewer than five dead and several wounded. Everything would have started from a violent fight that broke out at the cinema Venus, Bell-Village ...
No, it's not an action movie on posters stuck with rice on dry stone walls; the police, despite their firearms, are overwhelmed and can no longer protect the lives of innocent people who are attacked with sharp weapons. More than a social explosion, or a brawl between mafia gangs of the capital, this black period of our history is a bottom line whose effects on society and politics in Mauritius are still felt today. It is certainly difficult for governments to evoke this tumultuous period without giving the feeling of approving the actions of one or the other, or they try to recover cheaply. 50 years later we have positive and negative spillovers that we can always measure. This is precisely the purpose of this series of express articles.
Back in 1968. In the neighborhoods of Plaine-Verte and Roche-Bois, houses and cars are ransacked. Scared, the inhabitants do not venture out of their homes, denying one of their favorite pastimes: going to the movies. The movies on the screen that day: Dear Brigitte (with the sulfurous Bardot) and KaliYug, goddess of revenge among others.
On the MBC, we pass the series The Invaders , rat-eating aliens, as later in the other successful series V. On the musical front, Gérard Cimiotti's ensemble with Robert Duvergé, Jocelyn Cartier, Noël Uranie and Jacques Imbert rock the Mauritians. They are also passionate about British football. In England, goaltender Gordon Banks receives Ireland from Pat Jennings, but six weeks behind at least. At home, we will call, to restore order, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry is based in Malaysia ...
"The cinemas were crowded. It was the cinema that brought Westerns together with Gary Cooper and John Wayne (...) The Tunic and Tarzan were highly anticipated films , " says Issa Asgarally, a film buff. In the many cinemas, we also project Kindar, prince of the desert, Captain Blood, The mystery of the Hindu temple, Dear Brigitte, The last adventures of Fra Diavolo, Aurat and Chota Bhai.
" At the time, cinema was the entertainment of the population. There were long queues. We had to fight to get the tickets. There was also a real film culture around movies like Sangam with Raj Kapoor, "says Madhukar Dewnarain, who hosted a movie show for MBC viewers.
This is, in fact, the golden age of cinema in Mauritius and the Charlon Heston, John Wayne, Raj Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Bindu and Zeenat Aman draw crowds. There are then a dozen rooms in the Plaines-Wilhems, five or six in Port Louis, five in the North and several others in the South and East.
The same coil
"The cinemas in Port Louis were closed because of what was happening. The police were present in the streets and people did not really go out. It was hard especially that on Sundays movie theaters in Port Louis, Majestic, Luna Park and Opera House, I think 2,000 people, it was big halls, " says a doorman at the Novelty, nicknamed" Popome, who was 15 years old at that time.
Appealing to his memory, "Popome" says that in this period, fortunately for him his cinema was in Curepipe far from the deadly tensions of the capital. "Even at Curepipe the opening days, the rooms were not filled, people stayed at home for fear of having problems in the street. Business was not working very well ... "
Popome who still works at Cinema Novelty explains that at that time, with Rs 2 we can watch two films. "Before the fights, on Sundays, the halls were filled up to the last seat. We even refused customers. "
"It was, indeed, the beautiful era of spaghetti westerns. What is striking is that the films imported and broadcast by the same importer began with a thirty minute difference between Port-Louis-Rose-Hill and Curepipe. The same reel was transferred from one room to another and sometimes it was late and the audience swore in the room ... " , remembers Selven Naidu, filmmaker, who lives not far from Venus.
What was the opening time of cinemas? 10 am until midnight depending on the movies. "There was another atmosphere, people came out at night and the streets were busy before all these tensions broke out. Cinema had an important place in people's lives, " says Popome.
For him, now with the malls everywhere, the atmosphere is certainly not the same. In 2018, people watch movies on mobiles. The young people do not know the atmosphere of the dark rooms, the jobs of the cinema, the disparaging remarks that one heard, the breads with the curries at the exit of the rooms, as well as the ears of corn which floated in a boiling water.
The cinema porters, true guardians of the audiovisual temple, were both feared and respected. Unlike today, parents were not afraid to let their kids spend hours in the movies. "I touched the doorkeeper at the Rex Cinema and it was done , " says Ward IV parent Mohamed Hassen. Depending on their severity and the discipline that they established, the parents did not worry about their children ... It was really the beautiful time! But the fights and their political recovery have turned everything upside down since ...
Luc Olivier: "On the roads, people armed with sabers ..."
Luc Olivier, Editorial Secretary at the express and journalist since 1963
Flashback, January 22, 1968. Where were you?
On January 22, 1968, I was at Volcy Pougnet Street, not far from Dr. AG Jeetoo Hospital, where I had just been living. As soon as we woke up, around 7 am to 7.30 am, it was out of the house that we were planning, to find out about neighbors - the Felix, van Schellebeck, Veerapen, Sooknah, John, among others - what had happened. spent the day before.
The "who, what, where, how, how" found no plausible answer and the usual occupations were turned upside down or relegated to the background. We were only calculating the comings and goings of ambulances carrying wounded or dying or dead.
The day before the emergency is triggered with five deaths, what was the "mood" in the streets?
This Sunday 21st at St. Croix was not like the others. On all the roads there were groups of people armed with sabers, wrecks and sticks on the alert - and with piles of stones at hand. Women were not the least in evidence. The arrival of "bann-la" was reported by striking with an iron piece an electric pole which at that time was also made of iron. The most fantastic information circulated.
But when it became known that Abboo Soobratty and Peerbhoy were killed near the Père Laval church and that a third had his salvation only in the presence of a priest, the paroxysm was reached. The strongest and the biggest mouths incited to the murder, speaking of going to the side of Cité Martial.
Meanwhile it was time for me to go to work. But the buses to Port Louis had ceased to circulate and not a taxi in sight. The only recourse was an ambulance carrying wounded to the hospital, including MP Abdool Carrim. The latter explained that he had escaped death thanks to his fame. Indeed, he was very popular at the time because of his membership of the blue party.
The ambulance went to the hospital with an armed policeman, in case ... But no way to take the road Pamplemousses, the option was the Nicolay road. Surprised, she was blocked by stones, burning vehicle wheels and other pieces of wood. With armed people nearby, which does not please the policeman.
Machine back then until then was known as the BAT - British American Tobacco - and we chose the route St-Francois-Xavier. Relief, she is free and we arrive at the hospital safely. While taking care of the wounded, I go to the information for nothing. These will arrive later, officially. And once in the office two hours late, I write to the editor of the day, Dr. Philippe Forget.
What about everyday activities: school, shops ...?
There is no question of school during this period of the most unstable. Who would be mad enough or unconscious to send his child? If businesses worked, it was with closed shutters. It was served through the bars of a window or door barely ajar.
The newspapers were still printed?
Yes, the newspapers, the express first, could not afford not to report the news. Who today has become history. A black parenthesis that we can never elect, whatever we do.
What do you want for the 50 years of Independence of Mauritius?
Let no one in this country that we love, each in his own way, live even for an hour, what do I say, a second of what I have witnessed.
A hashtag to celebrate Mauritius
Since 1963, year of its creation, "the express" has militated for the Mauritanianism. To mark the 50 years of Independence of the country, discover our dedicated digital platform.
The daily "express" was launched precisely to fight for the independence of Mauritius. This one, which occurred five years later, was not easily acquired, contrary to what one might think. After having supported the fight led by Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, "the express", from March 12, 1968, quickly distanced itself from SSR, from the Labor Party, and from any other political or economic influence, in order to exercise the profession of journalist in complete independence. "Without fear or favor."
Since then, we have never ceased to campaign for the emergence of Mauritanism, that is to say, a system that promotes the meritocracy and the effort of the Mauritian citizen. Our fight against "noubanism" continues, as well as our daily struggle for integral and integrated development of Mauritius.
# 50ansmoris is our way of celebrating Mauritianism. To pay tribute to Mauritius at the dawn of its 50th anniversary. To celebrate our common heritage, in short to celebrate, whether we are here or elsewhere ...
Seizure of sharp weapons by the British soldiers of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry came to establish the state of emergency and ensure the respect of the curfew. They also provided checkpoints at night in Port Louis. Without them, the situation would have become worse and the weapons probably never seized ...
The establishment of the state of emergency barred the front page of January 22, 1968. The witnesses of these fights ensure that the Kaya riots were nothing to compare to the tensions of 1968.
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From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000
posted 01-28-2018 10:49 AM
Seems to be a lasting tradition in the Indian subcontinent...
quote: BreitbartThis movie has opened at my local 'plex, too, and it's got pretty good reviews. Might try to get to see it.
Riots Sweep India as Film About Legendary Hindu Queen and Muslim Conqueror Opens
A Bollywood film rumored to contain a romantic fantasy scene between a legendary Hindu queen and a Muslim conqueror opened to angry protests and vandalism on Thursday, even though the scene was not actually in the movie.
The movie Padmaavat concerns a most likely apocryphal act of defiance by the Hindu Queen Rani Padmini, also known as Queen Padmavati, a 14th Century ruler who was immortalized in a 16th Century poem by a Sufi writer. According to the poem, a Muslim Sultan named Alauddin Khilji became obsessed with tales of her beauty, marched an army up to the gates of her palace, and demanded to have a look at her.
This was against tradition at the time, and Padmavati’s family reasonably suspected that letting Alauddin meet her face-to-face would not make him any less obsessed, so they only permitted him to see her reflection in a mirror. Granted that it is easy to quarterback these things from a foreign land centuries later, but that just does not seem like a well-thought-out plan.
Alauddin lost his marbles when he saw Padmavati’s reflection and took her husband the king hostage, whereupon a much better plan was hatched, and the one hundred palanquins supposedly bearing Padmavati into the sultan’s clutches were instead turned into very comfortable Trojan horses full of soldiers.
The king was rescued, but Alauddin laid siege to the palace and overwhelmed its defenders. Queen Padmavati led the ladies of the palace in an act of mass suicide by throwing herself into a huge fire, singing as they died. Alauddin, who had aspirations to become the next Alexander the Great, ended up a broken man and was driven mad by his memories of the dying women’s screams.
Just about every detail of the legend is hotly debated, including whether Padmavati existed at all, so there would be no way to film it without controversy. Alauddin was a real person, but historians think he might have been more interested in the real estate he attacked than the beauty of its legendary queen. On the other hand, the poem has lush scenery, beautiful women, glowering men, sword fights, and singing, so it has Bollywood written all over it.
Among the criticisms of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new film is that it makes Alauddin into a scruffy barbarian when neither history nor the fanciful epic poem describe him that way. Also, objections were raised that the movie trailer showed the queen dancing in public, a major historical inaccuracy.
The more severe criticism concerned persistent rumors that Queen Padmavati and Sultan Alauddin Khilji would share a romantic encounter in a dream sequence. This enraged some members of the Rajput tribe, the descendants of the people Queen Padmavati ruled seven hundred years ago.
Some of the criticisms they leveled were taken seriously by the filmmakers, such as complaints that some of the queen’s costumes were too revealing. Others turned out to be inaccurate—she does not dance in public in the film, and most importantly, there is no fantasy romantic encounter between her and the sultan. On the contrary, the movie works hard to portray Alauddin as a complete villain, as you can see in the trailer:
Trailer on YouTube
That did not stop a campaign of protest, sabotage, and threatened violence from dogging the film’s every step throughout production. At one point, a member of the ruling political party in India offered a reward equal to $1.5 million U.S. for the beheading of the director and the actress who plays the queen, Deepika Padukone. States governed by Hindu nationalists threatened to ban the movie, although the national Supreme Court ruled such bans illegal. Some theaters refused to show it because they were afraid of vandalism.
Those who saw the final cut of the film insist it contains nothing offensive, but that did not stop angry demonstrations featuring vandalized shops, flaming tires, and burning buses from sweeping India when it was formally released on Thursday. In a city not far from New Delhi, television cameras caught children huddling in terror as their school bus was attacked by protesters.
The timing was most inconvenient, as India is currently hosting a summit for Southeast Asian leaders and preparing for its Republic Day celebration. Some screenings were canceled, while others were given extra police security so they could proceed. The film’s opening has been delayed in some of India’s biggest markets, to the dismay of theater owners, since it’s a huge production that was expected to fill a lot of seats.
The protests were severe enough to close schools and cancel corporate meetings. Commuters were stranded for hours on clogged roads. Some companies advised their employees to work from home in the interests of safety. A group of 300 women petitioned the Indian government for permission to kill themselves over the movie. Another Hindu extremist said he was thinking about killing himself live on Facebook, but wanted to see how much the movie raked in at the box office first.
“We behave rather strangely for a country acclaimed as the world’s largest democracy. We ban books and films before even reading or seeing them,” sighed Aroon Purie of the Daily O in an editorial, alluding to the fact that few of the demonstrators claim to have actually seen Padmaavat.
“The fundamental problem is that we still think in terms of caste and community and how we can further our self-interest,” Purie wrote. “In a country beset with such serious problems as a slowing economy, crumbling infrastructure, suffocating pollution, ailing health care, and a pathetic education system, the national conversation is dominated by a mythical character. It doesn’t reflect well on us as a nation with claims to modernity and democracy.”
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