"I find it ironic that for a country where films are woven into the very fabric of daily existence, there’s so little preservation of Indian Film history.”says Dorothee Wenner, a German film-maker and the author of ‘Fearless Nadia: The True Story of Bollywood’s Original Stunt Queen’.
As a programmer on special assignment for Indian films at the Berlin Film Festival, Dorothee is a true Bollywood-phile, if ever there was such a word! She can rattle off trivia about Indian Films, and has also made a film about the Mercedes in Bollywood films!
Dorothee was in Chennai this week, for the screening of Riyad Vinci Wadia’s documentary, ‘Fearless - The Hunterwali Story’, that inspired her to write the book.
“In 1995, I watched Riyad’s documentary on Nadia and it immediately captured my imagination. Coincidentally, a German publishing house also approached me at around that time, to write a book on a female rebel of my choice. So, I chose to work on Nadia’s story, and arrived in
, still unsure of how this project would go off.”, says Dorothee. Bombay
One invaluable source of information and assistance for Dorothee to set about researching and documenting the life of Nadia, was Riyad, who had made the documentary that had inspired her. Riyad was also the grand nephew of Nadia and the scion of Wadia Movietone, the film company that had launched and furthered Nadia’s career.
“Riyad helped me with translations, as well as shared with me, the background work he had done for his own documentary. The Wadia family history itself, can easily fill up 12 huge trunks!”, says Dorothee.