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India Rubber

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India Rubber

WWII propaganda film about natural rubber production in Travancore, southern India

Documentary 1944 11 mins

Overview

Reckless boy racers are jauntily chastised for wasting valuable tyres in this propaganda film highlighting a key part of India’s contribution to the mammoth war effort. We see the process of natural rubber production in Travancore, southern India (most of which is now part of Kerala), stepped up after the Japanese occupation of Malaya. While delighting in the human ingenuity involved, the film doesn’t entirely shy away from the environmental impact, showing the deforestation process involved in creating a rubber plantation. Despite the cheery score, rubber has come to be associated with human rights abuses under various colonial powers around the world.