This film is part of Free

Tins for India

Unseen for decades, Bimal Roy's documentary finds poetry in the kerosene can

Industry sponsored film 1941 7 mins


Ever wondered about the number of uses an empty kerosene tin can be put to? This film tells us that the kerosene tin is as common a sight as a palm tree and a bullock cart in the “real” India, the rural India. The film shows the production of a tin and the different ways in which it is used after it has fulfilled its destiny as a holder of kerosene. Directed and photographed by Indian cinema legend Bimal Roy, Tins for India was made over a decade before the major success of films such as Devdas and Parineeta.

Bimal Roy’s daughter Aparajita Roy Sinha comments: "The first time I saw Tins for India I was both surprised and intrigued. We did not know of the existence of this film... [It] seemed a far cry from his feature films... I liked it very much. The beautifully shot close-ups of a man with straining muscles working for a British corporation seemed somehow to bear my father's stamp and presage his humanistic concerns that are evident in his later films. This short film was made early in his career and he died when he was 55 - and this fact clearly demonstrates why he became the legend that he did, and why people still consider him a pioneer of Indian cinema."