2016 / 117 min. /
Director: Alankrita Shrivastava
Cast: Ratna Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur

Sanghum: LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA

Sanghum Film Series presents LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA

“Why should a film that tells a story of female desire be stifled? Don’t women have dreams? Why is it okay for women to be shown as mere objects of male fantasy, but not women with agency over themselves? It is about the continued stifling of women’s voices in our country.”
— Director Shrivastava in an interview describing her difficulties with India’s film censorship board

Lipstick Under My Burkha is a hilariously frank story about four women dealing with life and love in a small-town Indian neighbourhood.

It was flagged by the Central Board of Film Certification for “contagious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography,” and forced to make a series of re-edits before being released in India, almost six months after its premiere at the Tokyo Film Festival.

Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha joins the ranks of other female-directed and female-oriented films banned in India, including Mira Nairs “Kama Sutra — A Tale of Love” 1996, Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” 1996 and “Water” 2005, and Shonali Bose’s “Margarita With a Straw” 2014, all deemed too provocative and too vulgar by India’s conservative censorship restrictions.

“I feel that the release is not just about Lipstick [Under My Burkha] but is also a victory and celebration that women can tell their stories.”
— Shrivastava

Come out and celebrate this dazzling “lady-oriented” film, part of our mini-series on Portrayals of Women in Hindi Cinema! With a special thanks to your community supporters at Regent Park Film Festival.

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December’s screening of Arth (directed by Mahesh Bhatt) has been rescheduled for Tues. Feb 25th

Upcoming Screenings:


None Currently Scheduled