Bidesia in Bambai

Director: Surabhi Sharma
English (subtitled), 90 min, 2013, India
Bidesia in Bambai
A still from Bidesia in Bambai

Bidesia is Bhojpuri for ‘the one who leaves home’. One in four migrants in Mumbai is Bhojpuri, a people from the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Bambai is their name for Mumbai/Bombay.

The Bidesia in Bambai, like most migrants in this ‘global city’, inhabit its precarious edges. Mobile phones bridge a tenuous connection between home and the city. Along with his meagre belongings though, the migrant brings with him a vibrant musical culture. This music is frequently sexually charged, at times religious, often lyrical and occasionally political.

The Bidesia is both the subject of, and the audience for this music. Bidesia in Bambai is a feature-length film that attempts to make the migrant visible, in a city that renders him illegal and unwanted, in and through the musical sphere that he inhabits. This is a story of music, migration and mobile phones.

Producer: Surabhi Sharma
Director: Surabhi Sharma
Camera: Avijit Mukul Kishore, Ajay Noronha
Editing: Monisha R. Baldawa
Sound: Suresh Rajamani, Mohandas V. P.
About the Director:

Surabhi Sharma studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and made her first film in 2001. She completed a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University. She has worked on seven long documentaries apart from some short films. And video installations. Her key concern has been documenting cities in transition through the lens of labour, music and migration, and most recently reproductive labour. Cinema verite and ethnography are the genres that inform her filmmaking.

Her films have been screened and awarded at international film festivals. Her film has been a part of film series screened at museums and at universities. Surabhi Sharma has directed and scripted fiction telefilms and Science Programming for children. She has worked as an actor with a Mumbai based theatre group.

She has also taught as a guest lecturer at the National Institute of Design and Whistling Woods International. She has received the Majlis Fellowship in 2002. She was awarded the Puma Catalyst Award in 2011 by the Britdoc Foundation.

Posted by Magic Lantern Movies LLP on February 2, 2014
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