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Rating:No Rating
Release Date:January 1, 1989
Running time:92 minutes
Director:Mani Kaul

Description: This evocative film is an attempt to set the nuances of Thumri music to film. Specifically, this film enshrines the music of perhaps the greatest of all Thumri singers, Siddheswari Devi (1908-1977). Thumri is a popular semi-classical Indian musical tradition dating from time of the Moghul Empire (1526-1827). Over the centuries it has become quite a complex musical form, and because it is improvisational in nature, Thumri permits its practitioners to draw upon any other form of music, such as folk songs, for its themes. It is this characteristic, as much as anything, which accounts for its continued popularity in India. Among other things, the filmmakers show images from the songs, which describe the holy city of Benares, the boats on the river, its gardens, and so forth. Occasional black and white footage is used, and some shots of the great Siddeswari herself grace the film. The outline of the film loosely follows the life of the great singer as it is reflected in the lyrics of these songs. Various lovely women stand-in for the singer.~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

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