Prod.: Films Missioni Don Bosco. DCP. D.: 9’ (incompleto). Bn e Col.
The term ‘exotic’ indicates everything that comes from far away or from remote countries. By extension, the term carries the connotation of extravagance since all that comes from distant lands is often considered exactly that. In Italy, as well as in other parts of Europe, the exotic representation of a distant elsewhere erupted into everyday life in the late 19th century, eventually permeating cinema.
Popoli e civiltà indiane, produced by the Ufficio Films Missioni Don Bosco, takes its cue from this perspective, alternating landscapes, moments of daily life, propitiatory dances, divinities and religious rituals common throughout some regions of India, with intertitles that hardly conceal the Western view of those places. Aside from this, the film is an important anthropological document as well as a crucial work for understanding Salesian film strategy. In fact, in 1928, the Salesians owned roughly 15 films illustrating the congregation’s missionary activities around the world: from India to Tierra del Fuego.