Starkiss: Circus Girls in India
pm, November 14, Roxie Theatre
Director: Chris Relleke and Jascha de Wilde
Country: The Netherlands, (2002)
Running Time: 77min; 35mm/color
In Hindi and Nepali w/English subtitles
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A not-to-be-forgotten glimpse of a World hidden behind the spangles, spotlights and smiles of The Great Rayman Circus, which has thrilled and delighted audiences in India since 1924. This insightful and moving documentary explores the lives of 50 Nepalese children who find themselves exploited and in isolated, taught to perform dangerous acrobatics, given no education, and paid just enough to "work off" the advance their parents received in exchange for their services.
Selected for their beauty and agility, the girls perform and practice acrobatics and other seriously dangerous and physically demanding acts. The title of the film, STARKISS, references one such act, which requires the girls to grip a rope in their teeth which is lifted high into the air while swirling them around at a dizzying clip. This documentary film focuses on the circus culture and how the girls feel about their lives, capturing their emotions, struggles, longing for home, and their dreams of having a different future.
Introduction by Professor Angana Chatterji from the Social and Cultural
Anthropology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies