Salaam Bombay! (1988)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

[dir: Mira Nair; prod: Mira Nair; writer: Mira Nair, Sooni Taraporevala; Cast: Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chanda Sharma, Raghuvir Yadav, Aneeta Kanwar, Nana Patekar, Raju Barnad, Chandrashekhar Naidu, Sarfuddin Quarrassi, Mohanraj Babu]

Running Time: 113 min.

Plot: The story of Krishna, Manju, Chillum and the other children on the streets of Bombay. Sometimes they can get a temporary job sellng tea, but mostly they have to beg for money and keep out of the way of the police.


Mira Nair became the enfant terrible of Indian cinema with this, only her first feature film. It focuses on homeless children living on the streets of Bombay, with a large aside given to the criminal underworld element of the city. The film features real homeless children playing themselves, and presumably real criminals playing themselves. The government didn’t like it very much. It’s actually a very interesting film, quite beautifully shot, but, as a study of poor kids getting pushed back and forth between the thugs, the government, and various foster-care-agencies, it’s not terribly original.

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