Amol Palekar’s Moving Film The Square Circle: Released on DVD this February

‘A man should remain man and yet should become woman; similarly, a woman should remain woman and yet become man’ – Mahatma Ghandi

A young village girl (Sonali Kulkarni) is kidnapped on the eve of her wedding and sent to become a prostitute. Upon fighting her captors and escaping she is attacked on a beach before finally finding solace in the unlikely form of a transvestite (Nirmal Pandey). He, a classically trained actor who has spent his entire life performing onstage as a woman and she, disguised as a man for her own safety, then embark upon a long trek back to her village and a journey of mutual self-discovery and enlightenment, examining issues of identity and gender stereotypes.

Set against the vast rural landscapes of the north eastern coast of India, and combining joyful Bollywood music, and one comical dance routine, with a hard-hitting look at the position of women in Indian village society, cross dressing, rape and the history of Indian folk song, The Square Circle is a tragic-comic love story with scenes of both distress and tenderness that will leave you surprised and deeply moved.

Originally released as Daayraa in 1996 following sell out festival performances and an 8-week run in London’s West End, it was selected as one of the Top 10 films of that year by Time Magazine.

Amol Palekar, The Square Circle, released on DVD 2 February 2015. For more information visit

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1. Amol Palekar, starring Nirmal Pandey and Sonali Kulkarni in The Square Circle.