Access Bollywood

Jonathan Torgovnik trains his camera on an industry that serves 14 million happy customers a day
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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At The Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At The Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At The Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At The Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At The Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At the cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Touring Cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, On the set

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Jonathan Torgovnik, On the set

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, The Characters

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At the cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At the cinema

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Jonathan Torgovnik, At the cinema

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Since the creation of the industry in 1913, the Bollywood film format has changed little, with running themes of unconditional love, conflict between fathers and sons, revenge, redemption, survival against the odds, importance of honour and self-respect and the mission of upholding religious and moral values played out through a distinct narrative layout which typically includes six songs and at least two lavish dance numbers. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as the saying goes.

But Israeli photographer Jonathan Torgovnik wanted to find out more so he set out to explore just what fuelled the cultural obsessions of over one billion Indian filmgoers. Documenting film sets, city and travelling cinemas and the highly theatrical cheering and jeering audiences themselves, Torgovnik shines new light on the fantastical spectacle-rich films that keep India enthralled and coming back for more day after day. Take a look through the gallery above to see what he found.


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