Shiraz: A Romance of India
DIRECTOR: FRANZ OSTEN
CAST: HIMANSU RAI, ENAKSHI RAMA RAU, CHARU ROY, SEETA DEVI
An astonishing treasure of the silent cinema, Shiraz: A Romance of India is one of three cinematic collaborations between pioneering star/producer Himansu Rai and German-born director Franz Osten to be shot on location in India, restored by the BFI from original elements some ninety years after its initial release. Ambitious and elegant, the film takes creative license with the story of the life and death of the 17th century Mumtaz Mahal (Enakshi Rama Rau), the Mughal empress whose early demise inspired her husband to construct the Taj Mahal. Inventing a backstory involving bandits, slavers, and nobility-in-disguise, Rai and Osten give us a robust romantic adventure, filled with teeming crowd scenes and location shots that double as invaluable documentary. Featuring a new, specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-nominated Anoushka Shankar.
A Juno Films release of a BFI National Archive Restoration.