This film is part of Free

An Eastern Market

Documentary detailing a farmer’s visit to the market in Rawalpindi

Travelogue 1928 9 mins Silent


This documentary focuses on the farmers and markets in Punjab. We join a farmer "heading to Rawal Pindi... with a friend" (his goat). The film shows farmers, herders, loggers and women, giving an overview of the market town and goods for sale such as green corn and rock salt. It takes a cynical view of a medicine man purportedly selling cures. The influence of geographer James Fairgrieve is visible, with the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables among the locals attributed to the high temperature of the Punjab.

The film culminates in the evening call to prayers at the Juma Mosque, and to Hindus at a nearby temple. The film seems to have been shot as a quasi-ethnographic account of an average day in the life of a farmer on market day. It captures the contrasts that the Punjab offers with its agrarian economy and the trade from country to town. It also shows the architectural detail of the Juma mosque. An Eastern Market formed part of an 'Empire Series' issued by British Instructional Films, Britain's pre-eminent documentary producers at this time. Dr. Amina Yaqin (SOAS University of London)