This film is part of Free

Coolie Boys Diving for Coins

Local boys in Singapore harbour

Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins


This unfortunately titled film is a fragment of a larger travelogue. Joe Rosenthal, one of the star cameramen of the Warwick Trading Company's, captures local boys in Singapore harbour. Rosenthal and an accomplice create the action by throwing coins into the water. Though the boys seem happy enough, this manipulation of indigenous children for the pleasure of audiences back home leaves a slightly bad taste in the mouth today.

Before he travelled in the Far East, Rosenthal had filmed for the Warwick Trading Company in South Africa during the Boer War. On his travels he would also film, among other things, a version of Hiawatha performed by the Ojibwa people, scenes from the Russo-Japanese war, and royal visits in Australia and India.