Around India with a Movie Camera

Directed by Sandhya Suri

72 minutes / Color/B&W
Closed Captioned
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2018

Award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri (I for India) skillfully weaves together archival footage—including hand colored sequences—with a new score by composer Soumik Datta to create an emotionally resonant story about life across India from 1899 to 1947.

Drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive, Around India features some of the earliest surviving film from India as well as gorgeous travelogues, intimate home movies and newsreels from British, French and Indian filmmakers. Taking in Maharajas and Viceroys, fakirs and farmhands and personalities such as Sabu and Gandhi, the film explores not only the people and places of over 70 years ago, but asks us to engage with broader themes of a shared history, shifting perspectives in the lead up to Indian independence and the ghosts of the past.

"Fascinating, richly meditative; a past that refuses to know its place [and] a nation that is as much dreamscape as real." —Sukhdev Sandhu, Sight & Sound

Rich material for social-scientists across the oceans; AROUND INDIA WITH A MOVIE CAMERA is key to understanding the development of not only the Indian, but also the British ‘identity’ during the Raj." —Professor Gayatri Chatterjee, Author, "Mother India" (BFI Film Classics) and "Awaara"

 “As a generation that had experienced colonialism — both British and Indian — dies, we will increasingly rely on images to reconstruct the past. In Sandhya Suri’s hands, the archive begins a dance of mirrors — it reveals the colonizer’s gaze, its fascination and contempt for India; it foregrounds the deep divisions among Indians of the era; and overall, invites reflection on how we remember.”  —Professor Jyotsna Kapur, Author, "The Politics of Time and Youth in Brand India", Co-editor, Studies in South Asian Film and Media

 "Masterfully orchestrated! A journey laden with both memory and politics; at once light-hearted, grave, generous, critical and most of all, empathetic." —Savina Petkova, Cultural Anthropology Journal


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Select Accolades

  • Detroit Institute of the Arts 2019
  • Cleveland Museum of Art 2018
  • BFI Southbank 2018
  • Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2017


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