Motion Pictures

  1. Overview
  2. Creative Works
  3. Historical Footage
  4. Historical Recordings
  5. British-Led Colonial Films
  6. Research & Teaching


One More Voice collects and curates a small selection of relevant, publicly-available motion pictures and sound recordings. The collection is by no means comprehensive and does not seek to be so. Rather, the collection offers site visitors an opportunity to move beyond One More Voice's primary focus on visual materials and written texts (archival texts and book-length works), and, in some cases, to see and hear the individuals who feature elsewhere on the site.

The motion picture collection also suggests further areas for investigation by scholars, teachers, and students. In fact, part of this section's critical intervention centers on introducing such items to audiences who may not be familiar with them. For historical context, the section also includes a few early anti-colonial documentary films and a small set of British-led colonial films. We welcome suggestions for additional items or categories of items to include in this section. Site visitors might also want to consult the Colonial Film project and the British Film Institute's India: 1899-1947 collection.

Special thanks to Philip Allfrey for helping with the accessibility coding for this page and to Mary Borgo Ton, director of Shining Lights, and Tom Rice, author of Films for the Colonies, for assisting with relevant research.

Creative Works

Borom Sarret (The Wagoner)
  • Director: Ousmane Sembène
  • Date: 1963
  • Running Time:: 18:28
Chitraa, the Play
  • Author: Rabindarath Tagore
  • Directors: Prataya Saha and Shatarupa Bhattacharyya
  • Dates: 2020 [1913]
  • Running Time:: 29:47
Mr. Mensah Builds a House
Group of men beside a ticket office; the one in foreground holds a piece of paper. link to external site
  • Director: Sean Graham
  • Production Company: Gold Coast Film Unit
  • Date: 1955
  • Running Time: 36:19
Progress in Kojokrom
Shantytown with people in foreground; “Kojokrom Election Date” superimposed on image. link to external site
  • Production Company: Gold Coast Film Unit
  • Date: 1953
  • Running Time: 23:12
The Boy Kumasenu
People in bar with man and woman dancing close together in foreground. link to external site
  • Director: Sean Graham
  • Production Company: Gold Coast Film Unit
  • Date: 1952
  • Running Time: 01:00:19
Tins for India
  • Director: Bimal Roy
  • Date: 1941
  • Running Time:: 07:15
  • Director: Satyajit Ray
  • Date: 1964
  • Running Time:: 12:02
Wives of Nendi
Woman and man facing one another, with woman in quarter profile with back to viewer. link to external site
  • Directors: Stephen Peet; Mai Magwende (uncredited)
  • Production Company: Central African Film Unit
  • Date: 1949
  • Running Time: 19:05

Historical Footage

Sarojini Naidu
  • Title: Movietone Interview
  • Date: 26 May 1930
  • Location: Unknown
  • Running Time:: 01:08
Sarojini Naidu
  • Title: Introduces M.S. Subbulakshmi in the Film Meera
  • Date: 1947
  • Location: Unknown
  • Running Time:: 01:25
Rabindarath Tagore
  • Title: Rare Clips Compilations
  • Dates: 1930; 1930; 1930; 1921; 1926
  • Locations: Berlin; New York; Moscow; France; Rome
  • Running Time:: 03:04
Rabindarath Tagore
  • Title: India’s Great Poet Sends a Message to America; Tagore Viewing the Thermae of Caracalla, in Rome, Italy
  • Dates: 5 May 1930; 7 June 1926
  • Locations: Unknown; Rome
  • Running Time:: 01:08

Historical Recordings

Claude McKay
  • Title: Reads “If We Must Die,” “St. Issac’s Church,” and “The Tropics in New York”
  • Date: Early 1940s
  • Location: New York
  • Running Time:: 03:12
Menelik II
  • Title: The Voice of Ethiopian King Emperor Menelik II [Phonograph Message to Queen Victoria]
  • Date: Early 1900s
  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Running Time:: 01:50
  • Notes: Also see: Internet Archive  |  Abraham Demoz, “Emperor Menelik’s Phonograph Message to Queen Victoria,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 32, no. 2 (1969): 251–56.
Sarojini Naidu
  • Title: Constituent Assembly Speech
  • Date: 1946
  • Location: India
  • Running Time:: 10:16
Swami Vivekananda
  • Title: Lecture at Parliament of World Religion
  • Date: 11 September 1893
  • Location: Chicago
  • Running Time:: 03:36

British-Led Colonial Films

Warning: Site visitors are advised to proceed with caution when consulting the films in this subsection because the films may contain material that can be upsetting or cause distress.

Black Cotton
People gathering cotton in a field; one person with a basket positioned on his head. link to external site
  • Production Company: British Instuctional Films
  • Date: 1927
  • Running Time: 13:48
  • Notes: British non-fictional film, originally produced for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25 and then played on the educational film circuit in Britain; depicts scenes of African industry, albeit very much in relation to British economic interests.
Daybreak in Udi
Man in doorway wearing a colonial-era sunhat. link to external site
  • Director: Terry Bishop
  • Production Company: Ministry of Information / Central Office of Information
  • Date: 1949
  • Running Time: 37:31
  • Notes: British documentary that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1950.
Landing of Savage South Africa at Southampton
Large group of African individuals in traditional clothing with many holding shields and spears. link to external site
  • Date: 1899
  • Running Time: 00:39
  • Notes: Very early representation of Africans (in England). Also see Nadi Kaabe Linke's work in reclaiming the personal histories of individuals in this film.
Two men seated and in conversation among a group of African huts. link to external site
  • Date: 1925
  • Running Time: 01:09:27
  • Notes: British fictional film, among the earliest shot in Africa; includes an all-African cast.
Tropical Hookworm
Man in white tunic on path surrounded by grass, shrubs, and small trees. link to external site
  • Director: Leslie A. Notcutt
  • Production Company: Bekefilm
  • Date: 1936
  • Running Time: 12:01
  • Notes: Among the earliest examples of a British film made specifically for African audiences.

Research & Teaching

Nikki Hessell
  • Title: Nikki Hessell, English, Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Organization: Keats-Shelley Association of America
  • Date: 2020
  • Location: Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Running Time: 08:28