A telephone call from the studio, night of the new year…1937. Menoka, heroine of Bharat Talkies, has hanged herself by her own sari, in costume for her new film… Silent films are now the talkies.
Bioscope pictures are a rage and film stars subjects of gossip and fantasy. The world of films is a phantasmagoria, a place where young girls become prey in the hands of those that have the power to give them fame and fortune. Two women, both remarkably different and both stars of this world of bioscope films might now lose all... and one even her life, if they take the wrong steps forward. Sickness lurks in a lust for dead flesh... unlikely bonds are forged... and an impossible love rears up. In this world of shadows and greyness, unlikely people come into their own.
Sharmistha Gooptu is a film historian, and author of Bengali Cinema, An Other Nation (Routledge, 2010). She is Editor of the journal South Asian History and Culture and the South Asian History and Culture Books Series.
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