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DCA Archive

Shiraz: A Romance of India

Franz Osten

Selected for the prestigious BFI London Film Festival archive slot, this restoration of the rarely screened 1928 silent film Shiraz, with a new score by sitar master Anoushka Shankar, was specially commissioned to mark the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

Shiraz tells the story behind the construction of the Taj Mahal. It’s a tale of love and undying devotion, following Shiraz, the building's designer, and his childhood sweetheart, the princess who became the Empress Mumtaz Mahal – to whom the mausoleum was dedicated. The backdrops of the mountains and palaces are ravishing – a testament to the art direction of Promode Nath and cinematography by Henry Harris and Emil Schünemann, making the most of natural light. To accompany a film as remarkable and ornate as the structure itself, Shankar’s score, performed by an eight-piece ensemble of players on Indian and western instruments, echoes the magnificence of the building.