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1940s village life in tamil nadu - a view from ellis duncan

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ellis duncan was an american, who directed a lot of tamil movies in the 1930s and 40s.

the video is a documentary of tamil village life circa 1940 and gives a nostalgic and affectionate look.

a few things that struck me

- poonal is worn also by the stone cutter and blacksmith, which i have heard but not seen

- lot of child labour

- like my first school in triplicane, the ramaswamy kinder garden school - we sat on the floor, wrote on slates and had ola perey coconut leaf thatched roofs

- the brahmin bride and the kudukuduppaikaaran is a nice touch :)

- khadi and mill spun yarn used for making cloth

- travelling company drama troupes' out of which came many a cinema heros including sivaji ganesan and mgr

- enjoyable poikkaal kudhirai dance

ellis duncan's circa 1940s village life in tamil nadu
I was born in 1939; saw many Theru Koothus in front of our home, also Kudukupai Karan coming in the morning sometime with Boom boom Madu!!
In the evening, we used to go to public park to hear Tamil Movie songs very few only.
very few had foot wear, buses were very few, No Auto Rickshaws, Even yellow Taxis are rare.

Few lorries need front key to start,only steam Engines to pull Trains for long distances, Tram ride in Chennai was enjoyable!!


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Ellis R Duncan was a famous director who had directed many Tamil Films including Meera where M.S.Subbulakshmi acted as Meera Bai. Here is another interesting Video I found in Youtube on Film production of his time in Tamil Nadu:


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I am A. Srinivasan Born in March 1933. I remember things from age 10 onwards. I am happy that Mr Kunjuppu was in Madras in childhood , thank you for what you have written. Brahmanya about S J & Mr Sangon . I had travelled in the TRAMS WHEN EVER i had chance to visit MADRAS FROM MY NATIVE PLACE / rajapalayam/ SRIVILLIPUTTUR. i used to go for CINEMAS WITH MY aunt right from my 7 th year, free for us , because my athMiber was the SANITARY inspector of the TOWN. more news after you all write more 7 more. IT WILL BE GREAT;

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