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In Sex, Death and the Gods, acclaimed director Beeban Kidron travels to India to uncover the current state of the Devadasi tradition, a once respected and revered role in society which has given way to a devastating practice of ‘dedicating’ young village girls into sexual slavery. Married to god in childhood then at puberty sold for sex, the Devadasi women of South India are most often described as prostitutes.
Shot with incredible intimacy and unparalleled access, Sex, Death and the Gods challenges this crude assumption and takes a controversial journey through the Devadasi history, traditions and their now hidden lives in the villages and towns of Karnataka. Using ravishing archive material, the film contrasts the lives of the Devadasi elite, once great artists and concubines of India’s male rulers, with the dalit women who now live on the margins of Indian society in the name of this ancient tradition.
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