The Other Song
a film by Saba Dewan
Time: 6.30 PM
Venue: Main Auditorium, India International Centre, New Delhi
In 1935 Rasoolan Bai the well known singer from Varanasi recorded for the gramaphone a thumri that she would never sing again - Lagat jobanwa ma chot, phool gendwa na maar (My breasts are wounded, don't throw flowers at me).A variation of her more famous bhairavi thumri - Lagat karejwa ma chot, phool gendwa na maar (My heart is wounded, don't throw flowers at me), the 1935 recording, never to be repeated, faded from public memory and eventually got lost.
More than seventy years later the film travels through Varanasi, Lucknow and Muzzafarpur in Bihar to search for the forgotten thumri.This journey opens a Pandora's box of life stories, memories, half remembered songs and histories that for long have been banished into oblivion. It brings the film face to face with the enigmatic figure of the tawaif, courtesan, bai ji and the contested terrain of her art practise and lifestyle. To find the lost other song the film must understand the past and present of the tawaif and unravel the significant transitions that took place in late 19th and early 20th century around the control, censorship and moral policing of female sexualities and cultural expression.
Duration: 120 minutes
Language: Hindi / Urdu / English / English subtitles
Directed by: Saba Dewan
Camera: Rahul Roy
Editing: Reena Mohan / Khushboo Agarwal / Mahadeb Shi / Anupama Chandra
Sound: Asheesh Pandya / Gissy Michael / Vipin Bhati
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- Best documentary at the Pusan International Film Festival, 2009.
- Pusan International Film Festival, 2009
- Doclisboa, Lisbon, 2009
- Dubai International Film Festival, 2009
- Bird's Eye View Women's film festival, London, 2010
- Doc.fest Munich Film festival, 2010
A-19, Gulmohar Park
New Delhi -110049