Watch Shyama on Vimeo – Video on Demand

Shyama, directed by Obhi Chatterjee, is the authentic film version of the classic, Bengali dance-drama created in 1939 by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as an artistic critique of repressive regimes, in reaction to the growing tensions of pre-Independence India and the rise of nationalism in Europe.

A court dancer, Shyama, falls in love with Bojroshen, a foreign merchant, who is falsely imprisoned and faces execution … unless Shyama accepts the offer of an admirer, Uttiyo, to take Bojroshen’s place. Shyama is a classic romantic tragedy, based on a Buddhist legend. It is regarded by Bengalis in the same way that Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is regarded by the English-speaking world.

Kaberi Chatterjee stars as Shyama, with the singing voice of Manini Mukhopadhyay Bagchi. TS Vasunni is Bojroshen, with the singing voice of Jayanta Chatterjee. K Jatindra (“Jiten”) Singh is Uttiyo, with the singing voice of Prasanta Kumar Ghosh, and Basanta Mukherjee is Kotal, the King’s guard, with the singing voice of Ashok Kumar Ganguly.

All the dancers, singers and musicians are leading performers from Santiniketan, India. The dance director is K Jatindra (“Jiten”) Singh. The music director is Ashok Kumar Ganguly.

Shyama is part of the Tagore dance film trilogy of authentic, widescreen film versions of Tagore’s dance-dramas, the others being Chitrangada (1936) and Chandalika (1938).

Shyama was shown at the 2009 Kolkata Film Festival and the 2010 Ourense Film Festival. The DVD includes Bengali, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish versions.

Running time: 90 minutes.

The DVD of Shyama is available from Amazon, as is the English translation. However please note that the DVD is shipped from the US, which can make it very expensive to get it delivered to some countries, particularly India and Bangladesh. Buying the HD download using the button in the Distrify window above may be more convenient.

A 3-minute excerpt from Shyama (‘Lovestruck’ on the Shyama soundtrack album):