Thursday, April 30, 2009

Salaam Bombay!, a Cinematic Masterpiece

I've just seen (twice) and reviewed Mira Nair's first feature film, Salaam Bombay! - made in 1988 after she had made five documentaries. There are many amazing things about this movie: only three professional actors, and 24 street kids, who couldn't even read the script. Shot entirely on location in the brothel district of Bombay, with several scenes inside a real brothel, several inside a real "orphanage", really a prison for children, several in street crowds where its obvious that Nair had little if any control of the crowds. A giant critical success, and Nair took the profits from the film and opened three centers to help street kids, which has now grown to 17. Cinema for social change: she also got better treatment for orphans in India. That alone places this a rank above nearly all other popular cinema. My reviews are posted at the two review sites: 1000 Dvds to See (the original review site, now close to 400 reviews of movies, tv miniseries/shows, concerts) 1000 Great Films (the new site just for films, new interface, no ads yet!)

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