A Specter Haunts Bombay: Censored Itineraries of a Lost Communistic Film

Mukherjee, Debashree

This article follows the colonial censorship paper trail of a lost film written by Premchand in 1934, titled Mill or Mazdoor, to tell a particular history of Bombay and the entwined lives of politics, culture, and affect. Through archival research, analysis of publicity materials, and engagement with scholarship on film censorship, urban and industrial history, and geography, I embed the story of Mill within a dense history of local industrial unrest, transnational fears of filmic communism, and wranglings with a colonial censor regime. The singular travails of a proscribed film thus embody the stories of a specific place whose specificity is wrought out of its links with other places in the world.

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Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Published Here
June 12, 2020


film history, Indian cinema, communism, censorship, colonialism, archives