A Throw of Dice

Oops, missed Franz Osten’s A Throw of Dice at Trafalgar Square with a new score by Nitin Sawhney, which is NOT a Bollywood film but a Hindi film and formed a part of establishing Hindi cinema.

A Throw Of Dice (Prapancha Pash) is 77 minutes and was a India/Germany/UK production directed by Franz Osten in 1929. A silent film, the print has been newly restored.

The German-born director Franz Osten was a great influence on film makers in India and made 19 films in India between 1926 and 1939.

A Throw Of Dice formed the final part of a trilogy of Indo-German productions. Franz Osten fell from grace when in 1939 he became a member of the Nazi Party, resulting in his work being destroyed or simply lost.

The screening at Trafalger Sqaure has become a part of tradition where old classics, all silent films, have been fully restored, digitised and backed up by a new soundtracks, such as Battleship Potemkin with a new score from the Petshop Boys and A Throw of Dice seems to have been added to that list – an odd choice given its director’s history and the celebrations of 60 years of India’s independence and it’s subsequent partition. Perhaps a better choice would have Dadasaheb Palke’s masterpeice Raja Hairshchandra, the first full length feature produced in India.


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