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Fearless Nadia: The True Story of Bollywood's Original Stunt Queen

Dorothee Wenner (Author)
Synopsis In 1935, a young blonde girl made her first appearance on the Indian screen. Riding like the devil, swinging on chandeliers, sporting a mask and tight-fitting shorts and brandishing whip, she drove audiences into raptures. The film was Hunterwali, the girl ‘Fearless’ Nadia. For more than a decade after that she remained one of the top Indian film stars as she wielded revolvers, ran along the roofs of rushing trains, beat up men and played with lions. The Fearless Nadia films, a shimmering mixture of action, eroticism and progressive ideas, were unlike anything Indian audiences had seen so far. Coming at a time when India was struggling for independence, these films also carried subtle nationalist propaganda as Fearless Nadia, the daughter of a British soldier, became the cult cinematic symbol of the Indian freedom struggle. How did a blonde with European features become a celebrated stunt queen in popular Indian cinema? How could an Indian actress of the 1930s become a rage with feminists in the West at the turn of the millennium? Dorothee Wenner’s absorbing biography traces the Nadia story from her birth in Australia, her stint as a shop assistant, a secretary, a chorus girl and a variety performer in a circus to her unprecedented stardom girl and a variety performer in a circus to her unprecedented stardom and its aftermath. In the process, she also vividly brings to life a fascinating era of Indian cinema in which passionate film-makers overcame tremendous financial, technical and logistical odds to create celluloid magic.
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About the author

Dorothee Wenner

Dorothee Wenner is a freelance writer and film-maker based in Berlin. She also works as a curator for the Berlin International Film Festival. Since then she has become a frequent visitor to Mumbai, working on various projects. She made a documentary on “The Ladies Special” train in Mumbai, and has been co-curatora for an exhibitioiin on ‘Bollywood-Indian cinema and Switzerland’ in Zurich’s Museum of Design. Her latest project is a multimedia exhibition on cultural transfer caller ‘Import/Export, which explores the mutual perception between India and Germany/Austria in times of Globalization. Rebecca Morrison studied modern languages at Oxford and lived in Berlin, Germany, for years, working as a translator and literary agent with a special focus on Indian literature. She is currently based in London.

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Bibliographic information

Title Fearless Nadia: The True Story of Bollywood's Original Stunt Queen
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 143032704
length xvi+248p., Plates; 20cm.