PUNE: National Film Archives of India (NFAI) has received a rare documentary on the labour strike of cotton mill workers in 1982-83 in Mumbai.
The 50-minute film, ‘Although The City Looks Quiet’ (‘Shant Disle Jari Shahar’) in Marathi, made by veteran filmmaker Pradeep Dixit depicts the world’s longest strike that saw participation of 2.5 lakh textile workers. Dixit, an FTII alumni, handed over two prints of the documentary to Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI for preservation in the presence of Kiran Dhiwar, Film Preservation Officer, NFAI.
“I am happy to submit the film to NFAI for preservation a day after International Labour Day. This film is my tribute to all workers of the world. The subject was close to my heart,” Dixit said.
“The film is an important documentation of one of the historical events in India’s labour movement. We are thankful to Dixit for submitting the documentary to NFAI for preservation,” said Magdum.
The film was one of the earliest crowd funded documentaries in India with contribution from renowned film personalities like Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Govind Nihlani and Dr Lagu and organisations like Max Muller Bhavan, Mumbai apart from many unknown citizens who contributed in cash and kind. Technicians like late Debu Deodhar and Harish Bhimani also worked for the film without remuneration.
This film was screened as a curtain raiser in the first documentary and short film festival organised by Films Division in 1990.
Apart from actual footage of the strike, the film contains recitation by renowned Marathi poet Narayan Surve. Another highlight of the film is the interview with veteran leaders like SA Dange and Ahilya