Showing the Hustle of Bombay

Following the publication of her book Bombay Hustle: Making Movies in a Colonial City (Columbia University Press, 2020), Debashree Mukherjee has shared a series of rare film clips on the CUP blog from the frenzied film industry in Bombay.

“In Bombay Hustle, I revisit the transition to talkies in India with a focus on material practice and techniques of film production. One of my biggest challenges while researching for this book was the fragile and fragmented nature of the official archives of Indian cinema.

Approximately 95 percent of the films made in India during the 1930s and 1940s are considered ‘lost films’ today. Working with a slice of celluloid history has been a challenge as well as a creative opportunity. You can read more about my research methodologies and sources in the book. But for now, I want to focus on some extant and digitized gems that have kept me going over the years.”

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