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Often described as "The Real Avatar", tribals take on British mining giant Vedanta in a funny and revealing saga on Indian development.

A sly subversion of a well-trodden story, Cowboys in India sets up the viewer to believe that we're going to learn about the evils perpetrated by the London based mining company Vedanta Resources in rural India. Long before the now-familiar mix of pollution, land grabbing, false promises and thuggish "bodyguards" hit the UK headlines, filmmaker Simon Chambers had relocated to Orissa for several years to try and understand the realities of development in the "third world"— but with a lot more on his mind than a simple exposé.

The real narrative in this funny and clever film leaks out in dribs and drabs and concerns Satya (the "organizer") and Doya (the driver) and their complicated relationship with Simon. Playing the very model of the modern British documentarian, Simon confounds all expectations and subtly questions the conventions of the documentary genre. In the end, the threats are more immediate, and more serious, than anyone would have guessed.

Film Credits

Directors: Simon Chambers

Producers: Teddy Leifer, Simon Chambers, Paul

Photography: Simon Chambers

Editing: Olly Huddleston

Sound: Simon Chambers

Music: Evan Jolly

Production Company: Rise Films, Tiffin Films


UK Classification: None

Subtitles: Yes

Voiceover: Yes



Length: 76 min

Colour: Yes

Keywords: ,

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Cowboys in India Screening:

  • Sat21May

    at Birkbeck Cinema

    21 May 2011 12:30 pm

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