October 918 2020

Online + Frankfurt Rhine / Main

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House of Women

Short Film
View in the Art Gallery
Michelle Williams Gamaker
Release Year
The film revisits the audition for the character of Kanchi, the silent Indian dancer in Powell and Pressburger’s film Black Narcissus. The role went to the white English actor Jean Simmons who wore a racist make-up technique. The film restages the audition with actors who come face to face with the violence of the process. By auditioning only Indian ex-pat or first-generation British Asian women and non-binary individuals, the film re-casts a Kanchi for the 21st Century.



Gamaker's practice moving image, performance and installation, often in dialogue with film history, particularly Hollywood and British studio films. By restaging scenes to reveal their politically problematic, imperialist roots; her work is a form of 'fictional activism' to recast characters originally played by white actors with people of colour. She combines scriptwriting, actor workshopping, revisiting analogue VFX and props to create intricately staged films. (c) Picture: Ellen Rogers
Film London