Instructional Films in India


    MR. C. F. STRICKLAND has recently published a paper on “Instructional Films in India” (/. Roy. Soc. Arts).They supply a ready means of education in a country which “it is not possible to make literate in the next ten years”, though during that period instruction concerning good government must be acquired. Adults have to be educated and already Bengal is credited with 1,000 cinemas and 500 touring companies. But most of the films shown are non-Indian and 45 per cent of them are American. They are predominantly unsuited to Indian ideas and modes of thought. Indians do not think continually “in terms of sex emotion or crime”. Some educational films are now made in India and several are on loan, but these are meant chiefly for the juvenile population. Mr. Strickland explained the requirements and limitations of the Indian adult, one of which is a pace much less rapid than that to which we are accustomed. This speed with perpetual excitement is, we note, quite unnatural, lacking the tension and relaxation which prevail in life and in the best stories of action, such as the “Three Musketeers”. It is, in fact, the consequent strain on the mind which makes these pictures so easily forgotten.

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    Instructional Films in India. Nature 145, 458 (1940).

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