This article is in several news outlets. Considering its about my films, I guess I am allowed to quote it in full:

Charles Sobhraj Released – on Silver Screen

by Sudheshna Sarkar

His eventful life makes for a perfect movie script – serial murders, young, beautiful women and daring escapes from prisons across the world. Now, Charles Sobhraj, one of the most wanted serial killers of the 1970s, has made it to the silver screen.

Indian filmmaker Shashwati Talukdar, who hails from Dehradun in India’s Uttaranchal state, has made two films on Sobhraj.

While Shashwati is based in New York since the 1990s when she went to study films at the Temple University in Philadelphia, Sobhraj is currently serving a 20-year jail term here after a Nepalese judge last year found him guilty of the murder of an American backpacker three decades ago.

Eunuch Alley, shot in Philadelphia labelled as Delhi, is every bit as colourful as the life of the charismatic Frenchman believed to have killed at least 20 Western tourists.

The plot revolves round a journalist chased by a group of eunuchs because he was disrespectful to them.

“The journalist had made his reputation by doing a series of exclusive interviews with Charles,” Shashwati unfolds the plot.

“Charles wants him to write his life story, which he wants to parlay into other movie and book deals. The journalist doesn’t want to, but agrees, to buy time. Charles decides to celebrate his new career with a party, and the eunuchs are called in to perform, much like Indian films in which a gangster always has a song and dance number in his den.”

The eunuchs find the journalist there, capture him and plan to castrate him. But he escapes in true Bollywood style and bumps into his mother, who is the prototype of all Bollywood mothers down the ages.

“It’s basically a crazy story which does not follow a linear unfolding, and pretty much eschews realism,” Shashwati laughs.

“I really wasn’t going for authenticity, I wanted the freedom of not being bound by physical location or a realistic story.”

After Eunuch Alley, Shashwati made Snake Byte that pokes fun at the broadcast news media.

It was triggered by ABC TV’s report on Sobhraj’s release from New Delhi’s Tihar jail in 1997 after a 21-year stint for manslaughter. Shashwati says she was fascinated by the text and language of the report.

“Most crime reporting in the US seems to follow a narrative of confession followed by redemption or punishment,” she says.

“It’s very religious that way. Kind of surprising for those outside the US who think the country is secular. You could really see how the narratives in broadcast news work, the racism implicit in it.”

Despite Shashwati’s interest in Sobhraj – she has a web site that links to Sobhraj’s progress in life – she has never met him.

“I haven’t even tried to,” she says. “I just find the phenomenon around him fascinating. It throws up so many questions about how we deal with crime, how we run our legal and penal institutions, why do people find his story fascinating, the lore that has grown up around him.”