Lipstick Under My Burkha

Not available for screening anymore

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava

  • India 2016; 117 min
  • Original version: Hindi
  • Genre: Drama
    • The Spirit of Asia Award - Tokyo IFF
    • Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality - Mumbai FF


In rural India, a burkha-clad college girl struggles with issues of cultural identity and her aspirations to become a pop singer. A young two-timing beautician seeks to escape the claustrophobia of her small town. An oppressed housewife and mother of three lives the alternate life of an enterprising saleswoman. A 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through a phone romance. Caught in a conservative society, these women set forth to break the mold, in search of a little freedom.

Director's Statement

I have never worn the burkha. I don’t live in a small town. No one has tried to curb my freedom. I come from a fairly liberal middle-class family and I live in a metropolitan city. Yet there is always something gnawing away within me. Some chains that seem to hold me back. I never feel totally free. Perhaps I am no different from that small town woman who is dreaming of freedom. Perhaps her secret acts of rebellion are mine too. And chains are chains, be they external or internal.




International Sales


    Torsten Schulze