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Photo courtesy of Hot Bombay
Bollywood. Jewish women were able to play diverse roles (archives)
Photo courtesy of Hot Bombay

Jewish women of Bollywood cinema

Many of Indian cinema's stars came from families of Baghdadi Jewish descent who had been living in country for decades

Movie goers from Bombay to Bangalore were star stuck over Bollywood’s Sulochana during the golden age of Indian cinema. At the time, most of them were unaware that Sulochana was Jewish and that her real name was Ruby Myers.

 

But Myers wasn’t the only actress to light up the silver screen in India during the 1920’s and ‘30s. Rose Ezra and Farhat Ezekiel Nadira shared the Bollywood limelight along with other Jewish actors. They came from Indian families of Baghdadi Jewish descent who had been living in India for decades.

 

At the time, many Hindu and Muslim women weren’t allowed, for modesty’s sake, to appear in movies, according to documentarian Eric Molinksy. However, Jewish women were able to pursue careers as actresses in India.

 

They were able to play diverse roles. For example, Nadira was known for playing the “bad girl” and, for her strong screen presence. Most of the Jewish Bollywood stars reached their peak in the 1920s and 30s. However, many continued acting throughout their lives. Sulochana held her last film role in 1980, three years before she past away.

 

Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life

 


פרסום ראשון: 02.24.10, 07:51
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