20th International Festival of Silent Film and Live Music Thu, 27th January 2022, 8:00 pm Shiraz - The love story to the Taj Mahal Musical accompaniment: music group Sursangam Concert, Festival, Film Directed by Franz Osten, India 1928, 106 min. Musical accompaniment: Music group Sursangam – Pradeep Gupta (sitar, harmonium, vocals), Sigrid Gupta (dilruba, bansuri), Ali Akhi (tabla, dholak, vocals) & Susanne Martin (tanpura). Shiraz is based on the true story behind the Taj Mahal built in 17th century Agra, India, and was filmed in the real-life decors of the legendary marble palace. Princess Arjumand narrowly escaped death when her caravan was attacked. A potter took the girl in, named her Selima, and raised her alongside his own son Shiraz, not knowing that she was actually from a princely house. Shiraz, in turn, fell madly in love with Selima before she was kidnapped by slave traders and sold as a servant to Prince Shah Jahan. He, too, was enraptured by Selima’s beauty, so much so that he wanted to build her the most beautiful building in the world. In 1928, the film was a major production that could easily compete with comparable works from Hollywood. It has been carefully restored by the British Film Institute and is a magnificent piece of narrative cinema, an enchanting melodrama about the “love poem in marble”.