Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Films Division: Another India Teaching/Learning Resource

The Indian Government's Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has a website where you can watch old, state-sponsored documentary films online. They are black & white films, seemingly from the 1950s, that have a strong statist, secularist, and patriotic tone to them. They are in "official" English.

After watching most of the film on the Partition and part of another one on the "Quit India" movement, I can say this: 1) the narration is densely historical, to the point that it is more than a bit boring, and 2) the reason they're worth watching anyway is for their status as visual archive of the nationalist and the early post-independence periods.

(Perhaps you have to be a bit of a history buff... but maybe try flipping around to get at the juicier parts.)

I can't hyperlink to individual documentaries on the site, but you can find them easily along the top of the page (the images in the 'film reel' click to the individual films that are available). Also, if you watch them in Windows Media Player at least, you can view the films in full-screen mode using the right-click. (I don't know how or whether this would work on a Mac.)

I found out about this via Another Subcontinent.

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