Movies based on lives of courtesans and sex workers

The first look at Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi was released today


The first look at Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi was released today. The first series by the director known for his grandeur, features based on the walled city of Heeramandi, where courtesans lived during the pre-independence era. Ahead of the release of the series, here are movies that are based on the lives of courtesans and sex workers.

Umrao Jaan: This Aishwarya Rai film is inspired by the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. In this film adaptation by JP Dutta, Aishwarya Rai plays the titular character. Amiran, a little girl is kidnapped and sold to a brothel. She grows up to be a courtesan, Umrao Jaan. Things change when Umrao falls in love with one of her patrons. Watch it on Prime Video.

Gangubai Kathiawadi: Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt, is based on the true story of Ganga, who runs off as a teen to become a film star, but gets forced into prostitution. She goes on to introduce labour rights in brothels, and advocates for prostitutes to take once a week off. Gangubai goes on to become the madame of the brothel she was bought into and a mafia queen. Watch it on Netflix

Begum Jaan: This movie starring Vidya Balan and Gauhar Khan, is about the madame of a brother, who struggles to keep her business afloat amid the changing political scenario leading up to India's partition. Watch it on Disney+ Hotstar

Pakeezah: This movie features Meena Kumari, who plays Sahibjaan, a courtesan. Sahibjaan is rescued by a stranger on a train, who then gets smitten by her beauty. She goes in search of him-- the two of them want to get married, but, her professional background cause problems. Watch it on Prime Video

Chameli: Chameli, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Rahul Bose, follows the tale of two strangers, who meet by chance on a rainy night. Khan a sex worker is in trouble as she owes her pimp money and Bose is a widower, who is consumed with guilt over the death of his wife. Watch it on Disney+ Hotstar

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