Sultana, a prostitute in Faizabad in India, moves to Bombay with her lover Kudabaksh. However, the huge city is nothing more than an enigma to her, and it is not easy to make a living with prostitution in the city. Unable to get a job, Kudabaksh turns to a mystical religion, while Sultana strives to get a Kali Salwaar for the Moharram mourning period.
In her feature debut, director Fareeda reveals her sensitivity toward the city and modernization. Her careful camerawork captures the different forces in Indian society and the intricate landscape of modernization caused by the competition between those forces. Wandering through the maze-like streets in Bombay, Sultana is both a ‘flaneuse’ and a witness in this big city, and Shankar, who offers her a Kali Salwaar, is a character who disturbs the capitalist exchange values.
Based on the short stories of author Saadat Hasan Manto, who also appears in the film, Kali Salwaar is an intelligent and reflective film, rich with beautiful colors and poetic metaphors. (Kwon Eun-sun)
Born in 1959, Fareeda graduated with a degree in Microbiology from Bombay University. She completed her post graduation work at Tata Institute of Social Sciences(Bombay) and studied Direction at the Film & Television Institute of India(Pune). Her graduate film Hawa Ka Rang(Colour of Breeze) won the best short film award in the Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani(Turin, Italy in 1989). She currently works as an independent filmmaker. Kali Salwaar is her first feature film.