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Shiraz: a Romance of India

  • Drama
  • History
  • 1928
  • Franz Osten
  • 91 mins
  • U
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Franz Osten is one of the unsung pioneers of Indian cinema, and this fantasy inspired by the building of the Taj Mahal ranks alongside A Throw of Dice (1929), which he also made with actor/producer Himansu Rai. As the adoptive brother of a foundling toddler who was raised by his potter father in Mughal India, Rai vows to rescue Enakashi Rama Rao when she is kidnapped by slavers. But she actually enjoys her new life as the favourite of dashing prince Charu Roy, even while scheming courtier Seeta Devi is consumed by jealousy. Drawing on the story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, the film's scenery - by Niranjan Pal - is filled with intrigue, passion and spectacle. But while he tells his tale with brisk efficiency, Osten's strength is as a visual stylist. Promode Nath's sets are exquisite, and cinematographers Emil Schünemann and Henry Harris bathe them in natural light and shadow to convey their exotic ambience. Equally evocative is a new score by Anoushka Shankar, which reinforces the hybrid spirit of this Indo-German gem.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
ShirazHimansu Rai
SelimaEnakashi Rama Rao
Prince KhurramCharu Roy
DaliaSeeta Devi

Crew

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DirectorFranz Osten

Details

Theatrical distributor
BFI Distribution
Released on
2018-02-02
Languages
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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