I just finished reading an awesome book called Bollywood Blonde. The book is written by a South African author,photographer and creative, Gene Gualdi. Gene was living and working in the film industry in Cape Town and was picked up by an Indian producer and offered a job in India. What started out as a 6-month stint turned into a 6-year adventure full of ups and downs. What first drew me to the book was the idea that a young South African, just like me, could find herself with a ‘dream’ job in an exotic country. Since I study film, it seemed like a perfect book for me to read. As I began to read the book I came to understand that Gene’s story is so much more than just an adventure, her book is a brave testimony of an experience that changed her life.
Throughout the book, I caught myself thinking ‘how did she do it?’ How did she leave her family for something completely unknown? How did she trust a man she didn’t even know? How did she wake up at 4:30AM every morning? How did she stay excited and positive when all she wanted to do was crash? How, How and How?? The conclusion that I came to; bravery, passion and an enormous sense of adventure!
The book is written in such a wonderful way, there is no wafting. As you read the first sentence you are immediately transported into Gene’s world. The story is so fast paced that I simply could not stop reading it in fear that I would miss something. (As a slow reader being able to finish the book so quickly makes quite the statement) There are no fancy words taking up space for lack of story. Gene tells it like it is and I loved it.
The book is her true story about her time spent in India. It follows her dramatic life there and introduces the reader to all the amazing people she met along the way. The book is an honest roller coaster ride culminating in a dramatic event that changes Gene’s entire mindset. The book is not only about India but rather it is about adventure, self-realisation, the not so glamorous film industry and how a little bravery can go a long way.
I MOST DEFIANTLY recommend this book to not only aspiring filmmakers but to anyone who loves a true story. I found her story inspiring and it has given me a new perspective about filmmaking and self-confidence. I sincerely hope this book becomes a movie one day because what an exciting movie it would be!