Salaam Bombay!

India, 1988

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Abandoned by the travelling fair for which he works, 11 year old Krishna takes a train to the nearest city - Bombay. He is initiated into the ways of the city by various members of a children’s street gang and, determined to save up enough money to get home, begins work at the bottom of the street hierarchy as a “Chaipau” or tea-boy. Through his eyes we glimpse a Bombay never seen in traditional Indian studio-based films, a city of madness and cacophony, where flesh and drugs are traded and everywhere there are children like Krishna, surviving and succumbing to the appetite of the raging metropolis. Movingly acted by real street kids this film is an eloquent addition to the cinema’s portraits of troubled childhood.



Mira Nair

production company

Channel 4

Cadrage (Paris)

Mirabai Films







ACMI Identifier


Subject categories

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Foreign language films

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Bombay (India)

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Homeless children

Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality → Homeless children

Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - India

Food, Health, Lifestyle, Medicine, Psychology & Safety → Homeless children

Foreign language films

Places → Bombay (India)




VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

MPEG-1 Digital File - 2MB Rate; Copy

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