Film
5 November 2021

The Other Song

5 November 2021 | Part of A Supplementary Country Called Cinema

Starts 4:30 pm

Ends 6:30 pm

Venue Cinema Akil

Warehouse 68

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4.35 PM | The Other Song

2009 | Documentary | Punjabi (English Subtitles) | 120 min

Directed by Saba Dewan

In 1935 Rasoolan Bai, the well-known singer from Varanasi, recorded for the gramophone a thumri that she would never sing again “My breasts are wounded, don’t throw flowers at me.” This variation of her more famous song “My heart is wounded, don’t throw flowers at me” was never to be repeated, faded from public memory and eventually was lost.

More than seventy years later, Saba Dewan travels through Varanasi, Lucknow and Muzzafarpur in search of the forgotten song. The film comes face to face with the enigmatic figure of the tawaif, courtesan, baiji, and the contested terrain of her art practice and lifestyle, and in understanding the past and present of the tawaif, unravels 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.