The Gulf in Malayalam movies –

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2017|Media, Uncategorized|17 comments

I’m in UAE right now and off to Kerala tomorrow.  On the plane, I watched two Malayalam movies.  It’s not unusual that both referenced migration. This movie (Marubhumiyile aana (2017)- elephant of the desert) was especially interesting, with its rich roll-out of several Gulf stereotypes, a hybrid protagonist who has an Arab father, and a Malayali mother, and its Arabic catch-phrase  –  Mafi fulus, mafi mushqil (no money no problem).

Something I’ll be doing as part of the project is taking a look at some of the most famous Kerala Gulf movies, like this one, Nadodikattu (1987), which reminds us of the histories of people-smuggling in the early days, when men travelled from Beypore by urs/ dhow and swam the last part to shore.  There are still men alive in Calicut who can recount these stories.

Winter’s coming ….. long evenings indoors movie watching.  Post me your favourite recommendations in the comments thread.


Nadodikattu – ‘Wandering Wind’ (1987).

Marabhumiyile aana – ‘The Elephant of the Desert’ (2017)


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