India, 1972, 154 mins.
DIRECTOR: Kamal Amrohi
WITH: Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar
One of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made and a cult classic, Pakeezah is much beloved by audiences for Meena Kumari’s breathtakingly tragic turn as the doomed Sahibjaan, who is born in a graveyard to a dying mother who was once a famed courtesan.
Taken in by her aunt she follows in her mother’s footsteps but a chance encounter leads to her falling in love with a man she cannot marry. Forbidden love, homo-social women’s space, glittering fountains, rainbows of silk and gold filigree as far as the eye can see and even some rampaging elephants – Pakeezah has it all.
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