The last moghul of Indian cinema

How many directors can boast of possessing a complimentary letter from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru? Baldev Raj Chopra, better known as B. R. Chopra, does. After Nehru saw Chopra’s classic, Naya Daur (1957), the Prime Minister congratulated him for beautifully depicting India’s rural life.

This is just one of the lesser known nuggets from Har Daur Mein Naya Daur (A New Age in Every Age), a 60-minute documentary on the legendary director. Produced by the Films Division of the Government of India, this documentary maps the former Lahore-based film journalist’s meteoric rise into a veteran producer-director in Bollywood.

Others made films, while B. R. created classics, a reference point for students of world cinema. He is the last mogul of Indian cinema.

Comprising interviews with Chopra’s family and "gang", the film also talks about the making of his landmark movies. "Nobody was happy with Naya Daur. Even Dilip Kumar thought it would flop," recalls Chopra. — MF