My Homage to All – Kanan Devi, translated by Indranee Ghosh
One of the most powerful women in the movies was thousands of miles from Hollywood.
Kanan Devi, one of the early singing stars, came into the film world in the silent era and, unlike many others, survived the transition to talkies. The product of a troubled childhood, her life took a dramatic turn when she was offered a film role and, encouraged by her uncle, took it.
In this lively and candid account of her experiences, originally published in 1973, Kanan Devi recalls the early days of cinema in Bengal, comparing conditions of film acting in the early 1930s with what she experienced two or three decades later when she herself was a producer and director, with her own film company, Shrimati Pictures.
Her fascinating and unusual story offers not only a different perspective on the growth of the film industry in Bengal but also a first-hand account of the position of women in the early decades of the last century.