Bombay the Hard Way

Karma Clarke Davis

2001, 04:20 minutes, colour/B&W, English


A homage to a short intense time spent in Bombay-now Mumbai, India on a residency, Bombay the Hard Way documents a dangerous clash of two cultures while highlighting the artists own passion for the mixing of East and West popular culture.
Shot from the perspective of the back of a motorcycle, We follow the artist as she performs an action that she has observed in the thousands on the streets of Bombay. She rides a motorcycle in a sari and without a helmet.
She has Indian ancestors but she is unused to wearing a sari in her day to day, much less on a motorcycle. This poses some bodily danger as she whips down the curve of the Arabian coast as her palu-or the length of sari that goes around her body flutters in the wind towards the tires of the motorcycle.
The bike is a Royal Enfield. It is of British design, ancient in years (1955), the first motorcycle manufacturers in India. A throwback to colonialism, a beautiful object, a modern device, a dangerous act.
At the end in true Bombay film fashion-she throws back her head and arums and sings joyously.
The film is essentially about cultural ties and the awkwardness, frustration but ultimately exhilaration of the rediscovery of one's roots.

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