The Future Speaks Through Films of Our Past

Social Commentary

The Future Speaks Through Films of Our Past

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


ilms are an often overlooked but reliable token of history. Sometimes, they hold the key to the future; sometimes they can predict it. An alien might see in us that which we cannot either feel or admit to. It often takes an outsider to show us the clearest mirrors with the greatest depths.

Films made during the years of the Raj have been rejected by us for the simple reason that they fall on the other side of a binary we now seek in everything foreign from that period. But these films spoke volumes that maybe even history hasn’t captured. A whole group of pre-Independence films produced by the Raj, for example, could be earmarked as soft advertisements for justifying colonial rule in the face of the Quit India Movement.