Synopsis

A SHORT SYNOPSIS OF JOSEF WIRSCHING’S LIFE & ACHIEVEMENTS (1903 – 1967)`

  • 22.03.1903: Born in Mϋnich, Germany
  • 28.01.1929: Married Charlotte Mϋllberger in Germany
  • 26.02.1939: Their only son; Wolfgang Peter Wirsching was born in Bombay, India
  • 11.06.1967: Died in Bombay after a massive cardiac arrest
  • After his schooling he joined ‘Blau Weiβ Films’ in Mϋnich as an apprentice photographer; he studied photography theory in the state run ‘Gewerbe Schule’ in Mϋnich.
  • In 1923 he joined ‘Emelka Film Studios’ (present day ‘Bavaria Films’) as an Assistant cameraman/Laboratory assistant and was later promoted to Film Cameraman in a short span of time and was involved as an assistant/cameraman for the following films:   
  1. Die Leuchte Asiens (The Light of Asia). 1926
  2. Unsere Emden. 1926
  3. Die Kleine Inge und Ihre drei Väter. 1926
  4. Mein Heidelberg ich kann Dich nie vergessen. 1926
  5. Travelogue of overland trip from Mϋnich to Benares. 1927/28
  6. Travelogue of overland trip from Calcutta to Rangoon. 1928
  7. Waterloo. 1928
  8. Spuren im Schnee. 1928
  9. Kreuzer Emden. 1932
  10. Stoβtrupp 1917. 1933/34
  11. Im Lande des Silbernen Löwen. 1933
  12. Das verliebte Hotel. 1933                         
  • After which he joined ‘Bombay Talkies’ Film Studios in Bombay, India, as a director of Photography in 1935.
  • His ‘Bombay Talkies’ pre-WW II productions were:
  1. Jawani-Ki-Hawa. 1935
  2. Mother-Always tell your wife. 1936
  3. Achhut Kanya. 1936
  4. Jeevan Naiya. 1936
  5. Janma Bhoomi. 1936
  6. Izzat. 1937
  7. Prem Kahani. 1937
  8. Miyan Biwi. 1937
  9. Savitri. 1937
  10. Jeevan Prabhat. 1937
  11. Nirmala. 1937/38
  12. Durga. 1938
  13. Mamta/Bhabi. 1938
  14. Nav Jeevan. 1939
  15. Kangan. 1939
  16. Durga. 1939
  • As he was a German national living in the erstwhile British colony of India, in 1939 he was interned for the period of World War II in an internment camp for foreign nationals, firstly in Ahmednagar, then Dehra-Dun and finally Satara and all of savings and assets in India were confiscated by the British. He and his family were finally released from internment in 1947 after which he returned to ‘Bombay Talkies’ which by now had changed ownership.
  • His ‘Bombay Talkies’ post-WW II productions were:
  1. Ziddi. 1949
  2. Mahal. 1950
  3. Sangram.  1951
  4. Maa. 1952
  5. Shamsheer. 1953
  6. Baad-Baan. (This was a ‘Bombay Talkies’ workers cooperative effort to keep the studio alive). 1954
  • Before ‘Bombay Talkies’ closed down in 1954; he joined ‘AMA Ltd’ in their documentary & ad-film division in 1954, where he photographed, co-photographed and partially directed a few of their productions in both color and black & white as movies to be used in nation building exercises initiated after India gained it’s independence:

Black N White 

  1. Young Farmers Club
  2. River Valley Projects, (Documentary on the Bakra Nangal Dam)
  3. Fishing for Food
  4. Malaria Control
  5. One Thousand hands
  6. How to grow more Paddy through pest control
  7. Education for Life
  8. First Furrow
  9. The Mould Board Plough
  10. Practical seed drills
  11. The Row cultivator
  12. Time is Money
  13. Improved Seed
  14. Our Indian Earth
  15. Care of the Eyes
  16. Kora Kendra
  17. How to have a healthy home(Northern region)
  18. How to have a healthy home(Southern region)
  19. How to have a healthy home(Eastern region)
  20. Village Black Smith-ing
  21. Village Carpentry
  22. Black Smith-ing in small towns
  23. Rehabilitation in Polio Mellitus (16 mm)

     Color 

  1. Fertilizer Applications
  2. Fertilizer for Abundance
  3. Life of the soil
  4. The story of Trombay, (A Documentary on the TATA Thermal power project in Trombay)
  • After this he joined Kamal Amrohi’s ‘Mahal Films / Kamal Pictures’ as director of Photography in 1958 and did a couple of films:
  1. Dil apna aur Preet Parai. 1960
  2. Pakheeza. (Color), (This film was completed in part after his demise in 1967 and was later released in 1972. Unfortunately the remaining scenes which were shot after his demise are clearly noticeable for their lackluster feel in the final version of the movie)
  • In the early 1930’s he planned to branch out on his own but soon gave up the idea and instead dabbled in the emerging 3D and color technologies of the time before he came to India; of which, unfortunately there is no photographic evidence, due to an air-bombing raid during World War II that completely destroyed his family home in Munich, and with it, all of Josef Wirsching’s records and possessions in Germany.
  • Josef is currently survived by his only son Wolfgang Peter Wirsching, Wolfgang Peter’s wife Rosamma Wirsching and their two sons- Josef Wirsching and Georg Wirsching who are all based in Goa, India.

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