India on Film: 1899-1947
An extraordinary collection of films capturing India before independence.
At the stroke of midnight on 14/15 August 1947, India finally achieved independence from Britain. Seventy years on, India on Film offers access to an unparalleled collection of films from the BFI National Archive exploring lives – both Indian and British – across the subcontinent during the early 20th century. Comprising over 200 non-fiction films, most unseen for decades, the collection takes in temples and tigers, durbars and devil dancers, girl guides and Gandhi. The films inevitably offer a partial view of life in India; with a few exceptions, they were shot by British filmmakers. But between them they serve up revealing insights and countless indelible images. This collection of newly digitised films is part of the BFI's contribution to the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. The collection includes films of places that were part of India pre-Partition, including what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was ruled by Britain as a Crown Colony directly from London. Given the many links with mainland India during this period the collection includes a few films of Ceylon.
Amateur film193342 mins
Fireworks, illuminations and traditional dance all feature in a stunningly opulent royal wedding at Kundla, Gujarat
Newsreel capturing the final leg of Mahatma Gandhi’s epic 24-day march through Gujarat to break the colonial salt laws.
A compelling case for the involvement of the United States in Britain’s Indian Empire is made, in this comprehensive survey of the war effort in India.
A journey across north India from the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir to the iconic architecture of Rajasthan.
A journey through central and west India from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat and Maharashtra.
A journey from Odisha to Kolkata to the Buddhist communities of West Bengal and the diverse people of the north-eastern states.
A journey through the temples of Tamil Nadu via Kerala to spectacular ceremonies and processions in Mysuru and Hyderabad.
We know that these films were shot in India, but where? Can you help us to identify the locations?
Across what is now Pakistan from Karachi through Balochistan to Lahore and onwards to the North West Frontier