Gunga Din

TitleGunga Din
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1939
AuthorsStevens, George
Running Time1h 57min
Date Released01/24/1939
DistributorRKO Radio Pictures
CountryUnited States
Publication LanguageEnglish

Loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling poem, this movie presents late 19th-century British colonialism in India in a positive light while noting sharp differences among its colonized subjects. Three British sergeants and their bhisti (water carrier) Gunga Din travel to a remote outpost to investigate. They encounter the legendary Thuggees, a gang of Indians known for violence and barbarism. In their armed conflict, Gunga Din gives his life to save the British and posthumously earns his desire to become a British soldier. In 1999, the film was selected for presevation in the National Film Registry and was deemed "culturally significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress. Recent scholarship notes that the legend surrounding the Thuggees as violent murderers and thieves was largely an invention by the British to justify their rule of India.  

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