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Salaam Bombay

Salaam Bombay!
File:Salaam Bombay! poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Mira Nair
Produced by Mira Nair
Gabriel Auer
Written by Mira Nair
Sooni Taraporevala
Starring Shafiq Syed
Tara lasrado
Hansa Vithal
Chanda Sharma
Anita Kanwar
Nana Patekar
Raghuvir Yadav
Music by L. Subramaniam
Cinematography Sandi Sissel
Editing by Barry Alexander Brown
Distributed by Cinecom Pictures (USA)
Release date(s) 13 September 1988 (Toronto Film Festival)
Running time 113 min
Country India
United Kingdom
Language Hindi

Salaam Bombay! (Hindi: सलाम बॉम्बे!) is a 1988 Hindi film directed by Mira Nair, and screenwritten by her longtime creative collaborator, Sooni Taraporevala. The film chronicles the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Mumbai. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, the National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film, the Golden Camera and Audience Awards at the Cannes Film Festival, and three awards at the Montréal World Film Festival. The film was India's second film submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was among the list of "The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made" by the New York Times.[1]

Plot summary

Fed up with being continuously bullied by his elder brother, Krishna sets fire to his brother's motor-bike, which lands him in big trouble with his mother. She takes him to the nearby Apollo Circus and tells him that he can only come home when he earns 500 rupees to pay for the damaged bike. Krishna agrees and finds a job with the circus. One day his boss asks him to run an errand and, when Krishna returns, he finds that the circus has packed up and left. Alone, with nowhere to turn, and unable to find the money to repay his mother, he travels to the nearest big city: Bombay. As soon as he arrives, he is robbed of his meager possessions. He follows the thieves, befriends them, and ends up in the city's notorious red-light area of Falkland Road, near the Grant Road Railway Station.

One of the thieves, Chillum, a drug pusher and addict, helps Krishna get a job at the Grant Road Tea Stall. Krishna gets a new name, "Chaipau," and learns to live with it. His goal is to get the money he needs to return home to his mother, but he soon finds out that saving money in his surroundings with the people near him is next to impossible. To make matters worse, he has a crush on a young prostitute named Sola Saal. He sets fire to her room and attempts to escape with her, but the two are caught. This gets Krishna a severe beating, and he loses his job. He works odd jobs to feed himself and look after Chillum, who can't live without his drugs. To get more money, Krishna and his pals rob an elderly Parsi man by breaking into his house in broad daylight.

One night while returning home, the boys are apprehended by the police and taken to a juvenile home. Eventually, Krishna escapes and goes back to his world of drug-pushers, pimps and prostitutes, still nurturing his dream of one day returning to his mother.






Most of the young actors who appeared in Salaam Bombay! were actual street children. They received dramatic training at a special workshop in Bombay before they appeared in the film. In 1989, director Mira Nair established an organization called the Salaam Baalak Trust,[3] to rehabilitate the children who appeared in the film. Most of them were eventually helped. The Trust is still in existence, and now lends support to street children in Mumbai/Bombay, Delhi and Bhubaneshwar. Shafiq Syed, who played the role of Krishna in the movie now earns his living as an autorickshaw driver in Bangalore.[4]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Salaam Bombay: A Film Review
  • Salaam star now a rickshaw driver

Template:National Film Award Best Feature Film Hindi

Template:Indian submission for Academy Awards

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