From the archive
This film was last shown on 15 December 2019
One of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made and a cult classic with an incredible Bollywood soundtrack, Pakeezah tells the story of a courtesan who falls in love with a man she cannot marry.
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 a forbidden romance.
Illicit love, homosocial 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!
Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.
- Kamal Amrohi
- 2 hours 27 minutes
- Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar