Director Mira Nair, born on this day in India in 1957, first came to international prominence with her striking 1988 feature SALAAM BOMBAY!, which takes viewers into the streets of Mumbai to observe the particulars of life of homeless children. The film won a number of awards and was widely screened in art houses around the world.
Her next few films were made in the U.S., her adopted country. It was her return to India however that inspired her greatest success to date, MONSOON WEDDING (2001) which takes viewers behind the scenes of a traditional Indian arranged wedding, with very funny and keenly observed portraits of the participants. The film was a major international hit and set a record as the highest grossing Indian movie of all time.
In the years since she has directed a number of films including a 2004 adaptation of VANITY FAIR, THE NAMESAKE in 2006 and the Amelia Earhart biopic AMELIA (2009).
Here she is on the film that changed her life, and it's a somewhat surprising choice: Gilles Pontecorvo's BATTLE OF ALGIERS: