20 Years After Her Moving Performance In ‘Fire’, Shabana Azmi To Play A Lesbian Again

It was 17 when I watched ‘Fire’, in a dingy theatre in Kanpur. With my mother (would you believe it?!) and two friends whose mothers would never be open-minded enough to show them a movie like ‘Fire’.


This was a time when people were already beginning to squirm in their seats, rudely awakened out of their comfortable, albeit ignorant, middle-class lives, by a narrative that denied, nay defied, the notion that men were “an absolute necessity” for all women, everywhere. Just days later, the saffron brigade started tearing down posters and setting fire to cinema halls that dared screen the film.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. Mostly because I didn’t understand why a movie would elicit such a violent reaction.


The incomparable Shabana Azmi is all set to portray yet another lesbian character in Fawzia Mishra’s upcoming film, ‘Signature Move’.


The veteran actor, it appears, doesn’t give two hoots about mainstream disapproval. Azmi believes,

Art should be used as an instrument for social change.

And boy, do her movies prove she’s a woman of her word!


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