Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Merchant-Ivory team adopts a semi-documentary stance in Courtesans of Bombay. Though several scenes are dramatized, this film is essentially an unadorned look at prostitution in modern India. The film details the impoverished conditions that would prompt otherwise chaste Indian women to seek out employment as "performers"--a euphemism for the World's Oldest Profession, though they do indeed give public dancing and singing performances as a sideline. Indian actress Saeed Jeffrey heads the cast of this Ruth Prawer Jhabvala-scripted "docudrama." Courtesans of Bombay was made for British television, and original telecast in those late hours ostensibly off limits to younger viewers.
prostitute/prostitution, women, performer