Lord Irwin's Garden Party (05:35)
Footage from 1926 depicts Delhi's stately Belvedere House, a symbol of the power and influence of the British Empire. The building is home to the most powerful man in the Indian Empire.
Mahatma Gandhi (07:22)
The push for Indian freedom gains momentum in the 1920s, but the British remain largely oblivious to growing discontent. A clip from British Pathé News depicts Gandhi’s first time on film. Footage from 1929 shows him at his most relaxed.
Holiday at the Beach (03:27)
A home movie from the 1920s reveals the Magnus family. For Indians, the family's behavior and beachwear is odd; they associate Puri with pilgrimage.
Colonel George Custer (03:19)
Amateur movies reveal the home of the Colonial Administration Chief Officer in Jaipur. One clip shows his daughter, Mary and a loyal family servant; another clip captures scenes at Bondi.
“An Indian Washing a Baby” (02:02)
The 1906 film is part of a catalog of “native observances.” One viewer believes the film presents the otherness of Indians, justifying the British presence in the country.
New Delhi in Color (05:10)
Technicolor arrives in India by the 1930s and cinematographer Jack Cardiff uses it to convey the beauty of the Grand Jama Masjid mosque, Indian fashion, and other aspects of the country. Cardiff presents images of a new Delhi that always include the British.
“A Village in India” (03:03)
Cardiff's 1938 film contrasts the modernity of New Delhi with daily life in a small village. Religious beliefs and practices are parodied in many scenes.
“Tins for India” (03:20)
Shell took pride in its documentaries and hired talented filmmakers, such as Bimal Roy. The company’s 1941 film presents Indians not as organized and productive.
Decline of Colonialism (02:35)
At the height of World War II, 2.3 million Indian troops fight for the British, the largest volunteer army in history. After the war, Britain can no longer deny Indian independence.
Revolutionary Leaders (02:04)
Archival footage from 1947 depicts Gandhi and his followers on a march aimed at keeping peace between Hindus and Muslims. Another scene shows Gandhi with Jawaharlal Nehru, the leader of the Indian National Congress.
New Borders (07:37)
India is partitioned, with Muslims inheriting Pakistan and modern-day Bangladesh, and India retaining regions of Hindu majority. The American newsreel, “March of Time,” depicts the migration of 14 million people who leave their homes in the wake of ethnic cleansing.
Credits: India on Film: Part Two (00:32)
Credits: India on Film: Part Two
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