Who am I to say to people that you can’t have malls [in India]? I mean if that is what you want, if that’s what expats want, or if somebody else wants, why not? Who am I to say this is wrong or this is not the way progress is, or whatever. Am I being objective? And that’s why I felt conflicted and in many ways this film was a great way for me to deal with some of those questions that I had within myself. Is there a part two? …The fact is there could be a part two. Last year, all the vendors went on protest. They closed down all the shops. Completely. Can you imagine that? — Lalita Krishna
Director and Producer, Lalita Krishna, received an Honorable Mention Award at this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival for her film, Mallamall. While the closing night party carried on upstairs, Lalita and I snuck down to the echo-y 77th Street lobby of the American Museum of Natural History to talk about the film.
Lalita spoke to me about Mallamall’s inception, and why this was an important project for her. The conversation illuminated her ability to offer a balanced perspective on the clash between Western-style malls and street vendors. Her own background — born and raised in India — shapes her feelings of sentimentality to an old India, yet she is influenced by the desires for progress expressed by friends and family. Listen to my entire interview with Lalita for more on how her identity as both a Westerner and Indian influenced the making of the film.
— Alice Apley