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Kala Pani, 1958

Kala Pani, 1958, Museum Series

showcard, c. 1958, 56 X 41 cm (22 X 16.1 inches)
tinted gelatin silver print and poster paint on board with hand-lettering
(what is a showcard?)

Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema ShowcardsIndian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980sShowcards from The Hartwick CollectionToronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011, p. 59, Cat. no. 6.

Filmfare Awards, 1959
Best Actor - Dev Anand
Best Supporting Actress - Nalini Jaywant

Bollywood legend Dev Anand won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his emotional performance in this Hindi cinema classic.

 "Kala Pani is a film about institutionalized corruption and a classic film noir. It is based on A. J. Cronin's novel Beyond This Place (1953).  A young man named Karan learns about his father’s wrongful implication in a 15-year old murder of a courtesan. He vows to bring the true criminals to justice and release his innocent father from "kaala paani", (literally “black water”). This was a notorious colonial-era prison situated in the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, used by the British especially to exile political prisoners. The isolating deep waters of the Indian Ocean around the compound likely gave it its name.  The dark mood of the film is perfectly captured on Dev Anand’s frightened face, framed as if confined in a prison cell himself, which can also be read as a psychological portrait of his inner turmoil.

The film Kala Pani (1958) was produced by Navketan International and directed by Raj Khosla.  Music by S. D. Burman.  Black and white, Hindi, starring Madhubala and Dev Anand."

--Additional text by Dr. Deepali Dewan and Alexandra McCarter, based on Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s. Showcards from The Hartwick Collection. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011. Copyright of and reproduced here with the generous permission of the Royal Ontario Museum.

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