Developing countries still lack with several facilities that include from basic to sophisticate in several areas of modern era.
Films are one of the active exchanges between developed and developing worlds. Even old classics from countries like India count since it involves not alone money but also large number of viewers prefers to enjoy them.
Recently there are two revelations about preserving such classics in two different places, one at London and the other one at the east, Dacca, capital city of Bangladesh.
In London, a film was found by Ajay Chhabra and his wife, Simmy, who lead the prominent London-based cultural organisation, nutkhut. They hired equipment to watch the film and began a journey to piece together the work and life of the unknown film-maker who they discovered was Shanta Rao Dutt.
Before that the film was found in an antique shop in Liverpool in the year 2006.
The nine-minute 1920s film titled Docker and the Rose was produced by Shanta Rao Dutt, who left Mumbai in 1896 to follow the pioneering Lumiere brothers to France, and later went on to produce a series of films for the British Raj. Dutt cast a young Indian Docker as his hero, and the chambermaid from his boarding house as his heroine. During filming, Dutt fell in love with his leading lady, Mary, and married her. Despite its light-hearted comedic tone, the officials banned the film. Amid the controversy, Dutt and his new wife were forced to leave England for the US.
Dutt was there to shoot a newsreel on Indian Lashkars campaign for equal rights. He decided to shoot his first fiction there and the silent comedy was born.
Subsequently he was knighted for his WWII services but was forced to return to his motherland after his son found involved in conspiracy case. They left the movie in haste and never seen again, though Dutt lived in India till 1987 and expired at the age of 106.
Now it is being screened in the Liverpools European Capital of Culture festivities by the Chhabra couples.
In Dacca a copy of Promothesh Barua's "Devdas", made in 1934 and said to be the only copy existing, is in a bad shape in the Bangladesh Film Archives, its sound track erased and footage damaged, according to a newspaper report
A prominent actor and director of his times, Barua directed and played the lead role in the 1934 version of "Devdas", based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's novel. Later, 'Devdas' was made in several languages and recently by the director Raj Kumar Santoshi as a mega budget film, in Hindi.
Bangladesh as a poor developing country faces several hardships in maintaining a well infrastructure for preserving films. The archives was found in 1978 after six years of Independence, currently holds about 2500 films and adds films and other related documents routinely.
However, still it functions with less or no formal preserving methods and non trained staffs. The organization changed its location thrice and functions in a rented building.
The tale of two films shows a digital divide in preserving the past in a sophisticated way and to be passed in to the hands of future generation.