Salaam Bombay

Mira Nair's impressive 1988 debut, Salaam Bombay, portrays the disturbing experiences street children undergo through the eyes of Chaipau (Shafiq Syed), a young country boy who is left alone to struggle to live among the various hustlers, drug peddlers, and prostitutes on the streets of Bombay.

Pixote and Salaam Bombay have much in common in their portrayal of the lower classes who must try to survive day to day.

In Salaam Bombay, the lowest classes in society have an identity and role to play, and share a community, however humble. The Brazilian street children in Pixote exist in an anarchic and savage world. The film is about children doing the best they can for themselves.

Director Mira Nair undertook detailed research to create Salaam Bombay, and is noted for the induction of the film's subject into an active fictionalization of his/her experience, which leads to a realist narration. The film re-orders the children's perception of the way they should relate to the world. Nair's ability to bring this about is due to earlier documentary work. Previous films Nair directed are: So Far from India (1982), and India Cabaret (1985).