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Brushing Against Modernity: A Look into 'Original Copy'

"A poignant exploration of the struggle of Mumbai's last film poster painter, 'Original Copy' is a compelling documentary on the inevitability of change and the fight to preserve tradition."

Keywords: *Mumbai, Traditional Art, Film Posters, Hand-painting, Modernity, Bollywood, Documentary. Three Words: Evocative, Poignant, Insightful


'Original Copy' is a compelling documentary directed by Georg Heinzen and Florian Heinzen-Ziob, released in 2015. The documentary follows the life and work of Mumbai's last hand painter of film posters, Sheikh Rehman, in his struggle against the encroachment of modernity. In an era of fast-paced digital innovations, 'Original Copy' holds a mirror to the fading art forms that once held the charm of the old world.


The film takes audiences behind the scenes of an old Hindi-Film cinema, where Rehman runs his studio in the style of the old masters. As mass-produced plastic posters lure wider audiences, Rehman fights to keep his artistry alive and relevant in a rapidly changing world.

More Film Analysis



'Original Copy' is a participatory documentary, showcasing the intimate journey of Rehman's struggle. The quality of research is commendable, providing a deep exploration of the subject. The presentation style captures the raw emotions and the stark reality of the protagonist's life, making it a compelling watch.

Historical and Factual Context


The art of hand-painting film posters was once a thriving industry in India, particularly in Bollywood. However, with the advent of digital printing technology, this art form has been pushed to the brink of extinction.

Key themes in the film

  • The inevitability of change and progress
  • The fight to preserve traditional art forms
  • The impact of technology on art and culture

Film Comparisons

Unlike other documentaries on iWonder that focus on industry changes, 'Original Copy' presents a very personal and intimate perspective.

Noteworthy Moments

One poignant moment is when Rehman receives a small order for a hand-painted poster after a long dry spell, rekindling hope for his craft.


The documentary has been well-received, with an IMDB score of 8. Critics have praised the film's exploration of a fading art form and its impact on the artist.


'Original Copy' is a thoughtful and evocative documentary that offers an insightful look into the struggle of an artist against the tide of modernity. It is a must-watch for art enthusiasts and those interested in cultural history.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 8
  • Awards: 2 Wins



  • Sheikh Rehman: Mumbai's last hand painter of film posters



  • Mumbai: The bustling city where the story unfolds
  • Old Hindi-Film Cinema: The backdrop of Rehman's struggle

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. Can traditional art forms survive in the face of rapidly advancing technology?
  2. What is the societal impact of the extinction of traditional art forms?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be 'The Last Painting of Sara de Vos' by Dominic Smith – a story about the last survivor of a line of artists.
  2. A famous song, it would be 'The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan – a song about change and adaptation.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch – a representation of the anxiety of change.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Meryl Streep – known for her ability to adapt and evolve with time.
  5. A colour, it would be sepia – reminiscent of old photographs and the charm of the past.
  6. A music style, it would be classical – an enduring genre that has faced the test of time and modernity.