Kamli (film)

Kamli is a 2006 Telugu film directed by K. N. T. Sastry. The film stars Nandita Das in the title role of a Lambada girl. The film was showcased at the Busan International Film Festival in Korea and the Asian Film Festival in Mumbai.[1]

Directed byK.N.T. Sastry
Written byK. N. T. Sastry
Suddala Ashok Teja (Lyrics)
Produced byApoorva Chitra
B.C. Hari Charanaprasad
StarringNandita Das
Tanikella Bharani
L.B. Sriram
Roopa Devi
CinematographySunny Joseph
Edited byBeena Paul
Music byIsaac Thomas Kottukapally
Release date
  • 2006 (2006)


Kamli tackles the issues of the sale of the girl child (rampant in the community) and the swapping of the male child, a practice fairly common in the urban areas—particularly in the hospitals.

Kamli (played by Nandita Das) is the focal point of the tale. She is forced to sell her firstborn girl. It is a well-known fact that the girl child is not welcome in most Indian communities and amongst the Lambadas she is considered an ill omen. The boys are wanted as they feed their parents. One gets a peek into her life, how she is married to Redya (played by Shafi), her toil for a job, how she puts up with an alcoholic husband, how she faces the 'contractors' and other men folk who have lecherous designs on her and so on.

When she delivers a male child, her infant is swapped and a girl child is placed instead. This incident forces her to fight for her son. The media's role (in the building of hype of Kamli's fight), her dharna and the subsequent outcome with some melodrama are portrayed in a stereotypical manner.



Kamli was inspired by a K.N.T. Sastry's award-winning documentary harvesting babies. K.N.T. Sastry wanted to make a feature film based on the documentary about the plight of tribal women selling their babies for a pittance. He contacted and wanted to make film with Soundarya as the main female lead of Kamli, but she died in a helicopter crash, and finally made the film with Nandita Das.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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