Starkiss: Circus Girls in India (2002)


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One of India's cultural obsessions becomes the subject of this documentary from Dutch filmmakers Jascha de Wilde and Chris Relleke. The Great Rayman Circus takes in many performers from the fringes of Indian society -- dwarves, the deformed, and those otherwise physically challenged -- but its biggest draw are the beautiful young women who perform acrobatics in the nude for patrons of all ages. Starkiss: Circus Girls in India interviews many of the carnival authorities as well as the women themselves to gain insight into their predicament. Often literally sold by their families to the traveling barkers, the girls profiled in the film talk of their degradation, their physically-grueling routines, and their poor prospects for a life outside of the carnival.


Critic Reviews for Starkiss: Circus Girls in India

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (6)

The disquiet in this movie cuts deeper than mere shock.

Jul 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The film does just what documentary should -- illuminate the complexity of the previously unseen.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

A fascinating if somewhat morbid study.

Mar 4, 2005
Top Critic

Starkiss spotlights disturbing conditions in which circus workers have much in common with animals that are let out of their cages only for performances.

Apr 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…


Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

A cautious, digressive expose of the girls' exploitation by their families and by the managers of the Great Rayman Circus.

Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

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