The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Delhi, Great Capital of India
Delhi, Great Capital of India

Delhi, Great Capital of India 1909

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Delhi, Great Capital of India 1909

4 mins France

"Delhi at the time of a great Muslim religious festival" is the helpful - to a point - context to this film offered by Pathe's catalogue of the time. Which festival, we're not told. Certainly the streets throng with people and floats, while a number of street performers are on hand to entertain (and presumably profit from) the faithful. From there, the camera moves on to the magnificent Jama Masjid mosque, where worshippers wash themselves in the courtyard's waters before assembling for prayers.

This was one of a great number of films made in exotic locations by the Pathe Freres company to showcase its often breathtakingly beautiful stencil-colour processing. Though the images here are mostly well-preserved, time hasn't been altogether kind to the colours of the BFI National Archive's copy, which aren't as radiant as they would once have been. But there's some real charm here nonetheless. The German intertitles in this copy testify to the huge international demand for such films.

Genres

Travelogue

Collection

India on Film: 1899-1947

Released

1909

Country

France

Language

English

Read lessRead more

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later