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Directors: Bishakha Datta, Jyotika Jain, Shakti MasIja;
Producer: Point of View
The sex worker-“vamp” transcends hemispheres in this short film, named after the first movie ever given an X rating in Pakistan, about the stereotypical representation of sex workers in Bollywood.
“Dhandewalis must smoke. Dhandewalis must swear. Dhandewalis must…” and so on. Zinda Laash: Bollywood’s Norms for Dhandewalis takes an amusing, incisive 15-minute look at how Bollywood, India’s film industry, has portrayed women working in the sex industry. The term dhandewalis technically means women in business, but it has come to have a derogatory meaning. In the Bollywood imagination, prostitutes, sex workers and call girls are typically seen through melodramatic lenses – as victimised, helpless, aggressive, impure – sometimes even referring to themselves as ‘living corpses’ or Zinda Laash-es. (India, 14:36-2009)