This film is part of Free

Dance of the Harvest

A 1930s glimpse of life in rural Sri Lanka

Documentary 1934 8 mins


The colonial obsession with the customs of the colonised, defined as “primitive,” is represented in this film depicting the cultivation, harvest, threshing and winnowing of paddy. Shot in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the film also includes a scene of a harvest dance.

This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.