Sex, Death and the Gods

Married to God in childhood, sold for sex at puberty

Directed by Beeban Kidron

“Someone asked me why I bothered to make this film because it won’t change anything and that may well be true, but if we are going to live in the same world as these really extreme experiences, let’s not live in ignorance. Let’s at least make some effort to understand them.”  Beeban Kidron

The devadasi are Hindus who are married to a deity in childhood, and at puberty sold for sex. In this fascinating film by acclaimed director Beeban Kidron, we go on an intimate journey into the twilight world of the devadasi and meet the girls of Karnataka, southern India, who are forced to live in this ancient tradition despite it having been declared illegal for more than 60 years.

The documentary investigates the surprising history of this little-understood community, reveals their rich and privileged past as concubines to the princes and priests of India’s ruling class, and explores their heritage as dancers and entertainers.