Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Rebel Queen

I've been hopelessly late in blogging about this short film by Michael Singh which appears to be having a one-off showing in London tomorrow evening.  In the Guardian's own words, in a piece last December:

"The film Rebel Queen tells the remarkable story of the last Sikh ruler of Lahore – a fearless Maharani who waged two wars against British rule in India. She is an inspiring figure for young Asian women today... 

... Her revolt began when her husband, the last Maharaja of the Punjab, died of a stroke in 1839 and the British tried to wrest the kingdom from the heir to the throne, her infant son, Duleep Singh. During her rule as regent, Jindan waged two disastrous wars against the British that led to the annexation of the Punjab. She may have made huge strategic errors due to her military inexperience and young age (she was in her early 20s), but Jindan was a fierce ruler....

... Nine-year-old Duleep was taken to England where he converted to Christianity, living the life of a typical English gentleman, with Queen Victoria among his friends. The Maharani Jindan, however, was dragged from the court of Lahore by her hair and thrown into the fortress of Sheikhupura and then Chunar Fort in Uttar Pradesh."

I've written before about this amazing story when I visited the painting of Duleep Singh at Queen Victoria's Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

The Rebel Queen (37 min) is showing on Thu 17th February, 6.30pm, free, at:  Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF

There will also be an Q&A after the showing. I don't think I will be able to get along - I wonder if there are any plans to show it in London again? - let me know what you think of the film if you've seen it.

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