Aamir Khan's 'Taare Zameen Par' enthralls Israeli audience

 A still from 'Taare Zameen Par'

The film, about an eight-year-old dyslexic child, struggling to read and write and how he overcomes his problem through the help of his teacher, seems to have touched a chord with the Bollywood fans here.

"I was so touched by the way a difficult plot has been handled in the film that I saw it in all the three cities. I was with tears in my eyes several times but left the hall with a smile each time in what was so Bollywoodish but still so different in many ways," said Ehud, a resident of the northern Israeli city of Rosh Pina, who came to Jerusalem for the screening Sunday evening.
"Aamir Khan is my favourite among the current lot of film starts. He is not afraid of experimenting and has always come out successful. He has come a long way from Qayamat se Qayamat Tak to Ghajini and Taare Zameen Par," said Dana, a Bollywood fan who has seen all the movies screened at the festival.
Thousands of India enthusiasts in Israel have thronged the Cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa for almost two weeks watching six Indian movies that have been screened at the fest.
Films like 'Taare Zameen Par', 'Anaahat', 'A Wednesday', 'Rock On', 'The Corporate' and Dev Anand starrer 1951 classic 'Baazi', are being screened at the two week event.
The acceptance to Indian culture and cinema in Israel is at its peak with four channels, Hot Bombay, Yes India, Hot Bollywood and Bollywood HD, completely devoted to Indian films, operating successfully. Majority of the subscribers to these channels are not Jews of Indian origin, who prefer to watch Zee TV.
There are about 70,000 Indian Jews living in Israel with 50,000 strong Bene Israel community hailing from Maharashtra forming the single largest group.
"I was so thrilled to see Anaahat in Marathi and the star of my India days, Amol Palekar saheb, that i was almost in tears", Helen Penkar, who immigrated to Israel in the 60s said.
The popularity of Bollywood in Israel can be gauged from the hugely successful run of Yash Chopra's love saga 'Dil To Pagal Hai' which attracted huge crowd for three weeks in Tel Aviv when released in Israel and its lead song can be still heard everyday on the Army Radio.
The presence of Palekar and Anupam Kher during the inauguration of the festival also added a lot of flavour to it with Bollywood enthusiasts flocking to have a glimpse of the famous stars.

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