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Salaam Bombay (Widescreen Special Edition) (1988)

Shafiq Syed , Hansa Vithal , Mira Nair  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chanda Sharma, Raghuvir Yadav, Anita Kanwar
  • Directors: Mira Nair
  • Writers: Mira Nair, Hriday Lani, Sooni Taraporevala
  • Producers: Anil Tejani, Cherie Rodgers, Gabriel Auer, Jane Balfour
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Hindi (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Hindi (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KQ9V
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,929 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Salaam Bombay (Widescreen Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Five original documentaries shot in India: "One Chance in a Million," "A Color in the Hand of the Painter," "I Got Love," "It Gave Me a Career," and "So Kids Like Us Can Learn Forever"
  • "No Guts, No Glory" original featurette
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) adds her angry voice to the cinema of forgotten children in this wrenching drama of an 11-year-old boy (real-life street kid Shafiq Syed) who heads to the big city and joins a sea of homeless kids and down-and-out adults scrambling to survive the pitiless streets. The fantasy of Bollywood dreams hangs just out of reach in posters, movies, and radio tunes, momentary respites from the hard reality of a world ruled by brutal pimps and drug dealers. In the tradition of Los Olvidados and Pixote, former documentarian Nair's feature debut is shot entirely in the slums of Bombay with a largely nonprofessional cast from the same streets. Though the drama is at times misty and melodramatic, her clear-eyed look at the mercenary world around these ultimately fragile forgotten children earned her the Caméra D'Or at Cannes in 1988. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

From director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), this "brilliantly achieved, stunning and powerful" (Los Angeles Times) film "burst onto the Indian cinema scene with the force of a tornado" (Time Out London)! Winner of the Caméra d'Or at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® in 1989, this riveting look at life on the hardened streets of Bombay went on to accumulate accolades and awards across the globe! Forced to leave his family at a very young age, Krishna lives on the streets with pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and other homeless children. He earns very little money – but it's more than most – delivering tea so he can return home to his family. But his honest plan is foiled when his hard-earned money is stolen by his closest friend, forcing Krishna to follow in the footsteps of so many street children of Bombay…by turning to a life of crime.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FILM NOT SOON FORGOTTEN... January 4, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a superb film that gives the viewer a bird's-eye view into the plight of India's urban street children. It is done through the experience of young Krishna, an illiterate, country bumpkin of a boy, who is abandoned by his mother at a circus and told not to come home until he has five hundred rupees for having broken something that belonged to his brother. While Krishna is on an errand, the circus packs up and leaves town, and he is left alone to fend for himself.
Krishna uses his last few rupees to travel to a city, which by luck of the draw turns out to be Bombay. Thrust into the life of the street children of Bombay, living among the pimps, hustlers, drug addicts, prostitutes, and throw away children that proliferate in India's urban settlements, a modern day jungle, Krishna struggles to survive. His resourcefulness holds him in good stead. He quickly develops some street smarts and forms attachments. He struggles to earn and save money, so that he can return home to his mother and the family whom he misses, only to be duped in the end by one in whom he had trusted. His story breaks one's heart, as he learns some hard lessons in life.
This is a gritty look into the underbelly and plight of Bombay's poor street children, who call the gutters of its filthy urban streets home. It is filled with the sights and sounds of this urban nightmare. An Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this highly acclaimed film allows the viewer a peek at another culture, only to find that basic human needs and desires are universal.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FILM NOT SOON FORGOTTEN.... January 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a superb film that gives the viewer a bird's eye view into the plight of India's urban street children. It is done through the experience of young Krishna, an illiterate, country bumpkin of a boy, who is abandoned by his mother at a circus and told not to come home until he has five hundred rupees for having broken something that belonged to his brother. While Krishna is on an errand, the circus packs up and leaves town, and he is left alone to fend for himself.
Krishna uses his last few rupees to travel to a city, which by luck of the draw turns out to be Bombay. Thrust into the life of the street children of Bombay, living among the pimps, hustlers, drug addicts, prostitutes, and throw away children that proliferate in India's urban settlements, a modern day jungle, Krishna struggles to survive. His resourcefulness holds him in good stead. He quickly develops some street smarts and forms attachments. He struggles to earn and save money, so that he can return home to his mother and the family whom he misses, only to be duped in the end by one whom he had trusted. His story breaks one's heart, as he learns some hard lessons in life.
This is a gritty look into the underbelly and plight of Bombay's poor street children, who call the gutters of its filthy urban streets home. It is filled with the sights and sounds of this urban nightmare. An Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, this highly acclaimed film allows the viewer a peek at another culture, only to find that basic human needs and desires are universal.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best! December 20, 2002
Format:DVD
This was my introduction to Mira Nair. I assumed it was her first full-length feature. She takes you into the streets of Bombay through the eyes of homeless children. It is kind of an "Oliver Twist" in India, but Nair provides a gritty perspective that has been lacking in her films since her international debut. The camera work is fantastic. You really get the sense of the teaming masses of people and the vulnerbility of these children. The Fagan-like overlord of this brood feels real, making it seem like Mira did her research.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rose in the gutter February 14, 2005
Format:DVD
Wow, what a tremendous story of innocence lost, of the anonymity of the powerless poor in the big city, and of the global theme of vices that trap such lost souls and suck them dry. This is a monumental film that touched me on so many levels that I can't put it all into words.

Almost the entire film takes place on the streets of Bombay, far from the "Bollywood" silliness of musical melodrama that we in the US usually associate with Indian cinema. These are runaways, prostitutes, junkies, and thieves, but director Mira Nair refuses to treat any of them as props or cliches, showing them as nothing less than fully fleshed human beings. The lead character is an innocent little boy who finds himself thrust into this world, and he becomes closest to two equally innocent young girls who are also on the verge of being swallowed up by the filth around them. Their journey through these few weeks is heartbreaking and chilling, and the ending will stay with you for quite some time.

Mira Nair has gone on to direct several feature films, including Indian-American productions like "Mississippi Masala" with Denzel Washington, but this is far more realized than that one, partly because the characters are more real and partly because the story is much more perfectly and completely told. In "Salaam Bombay!" the actors are mostly street people, several of them so malnourished it hurts to look at them. The realism of the players reflects the unblinking realism of the story, ultimately condemning the situation while celebrating the humanity of the people involved.

This film should be required viewing for anyone who says they like movies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The situation of the Nepalese girls is exactly like that of the...
The Jains, the Hindus, the Sikhs all practice such consideration in their daily life against harming creatures, how could such a country be cruel to the Nepalese girls? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars A very powerful film by Mira Nair
Awesome film about street urchins in India - and particularly about a boy whose family has abandoned him. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ethosian
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic film, which moves you
A film which gives a very realistic picture of real life for children on the street in Mumbay. A film which goes to the heart and moves you.
Published 12 months ago by Lena Kristensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Real world issues brought forth with grit and honesty...
A film I did not expect to hit me as it did, `Salaam Bombay' is a small yet impressive feature that details a tragic slice of culture we may not be wholly aware of. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Andrew Ellington
1.0 out of 5 stars Salaam bombay
It does not play at all except on a friends computer wont play on any tv i feel ripped off
Published 17 months ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear jerker!
This movie is a very realistic portrayal of homeless children in Bombay. I love the special features especially when they catch up with some of the actors many years after the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Big Mama
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only the film but the Special Features!
I think many people have already reviewed Mira Nair's wonderful movie and it touches the heart in ways that much more scripted films about India don't. Read more
Published 23 months ago by R. Strickler
5.0 out of 5 stars "We're The Flowers That Never Open" ~ Hearing The Voice Of The...
Note: The film is presented in Hindi with English, Spanish and French subtitles.

The 1998 film `Salaam Bombay' weaves a heartbreaking tale that is lived out everyday by... Read more
Published on May 12, 2011 by Brian E. Erland
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film
I hadn't seen this film before and it is wonderful. A poor street boy tries to take care of those around him including a drug addict, prostitute, a virgin being primed for... Read more
Published on February 7, 2011 by Lynn Ellingwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare, Beautiful, Raw, a movie that draws you in and more
The actors in this movie make you believe it really happened. The child actors in this movie turn in performances that make some Adult Acadamy Award winners look amateur. Read more
Published on January 21, 2011 by J. Lewis
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