About 26 years after Mira Nair's gripping movie Salaam Bombay on street children was first released, a remastered version will soon be available across the world.
Fortissimo Films has acquired world rights-except India and South Asia-to the Silver Jubilee edition of Nair's work that placed her firmly in the international limelight. Salaam Bombay fetched her Camera d'Or Prize at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. The work also won three awards at Montreal and the Best Hindi Feature trophy at the National Awards in India. To top it all, the movie was nominated for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Picture category, the second Indian film to have garnered attention this after Mother India. The New York Times called Salaam Bombay one of the 1000 best movies ever made in the world.
Salaam Bombay is the tragic tale of a young boy's yearning to go back home to his mother-who tells him that he can return only if he earns Rs 500 for the damage he had caused to his brother's motorbike. The boy, Krishna, has a hard time finding that money, and he eventually lands up in Bombay and among prostitutes, pimps and drug-pushers.
Irrfan Khan plays a letter writer in his first ever role, and years later he would work again with Nair in her The Namesake (adapted from a Jhumpa Lahiri work). Raghuvir Yadav, Nana Patekar and Sanjana Kapoor were some of the others in the cast.
The question now is, will this remastered print of Salaam Bombay be seen in India. Or, will the name have to be altered as Salaam Mumbai!