Photographic still of Meena Kumari from the Hindi film, Yahudi


Museum of Art & Photography

Museum of Art & Photography
Bangalore, India

Photographic still produced for the Hindi film, Yahudi, featuring Meena Kumari, is a 1958 Bollywood film directed by Bimal Roy. Yahudi (trans. Jew) starred Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari, Sohrab Modi, Nazir Hussain and Nigar Sultana among others. Dealing with the persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire, this film was based on the play Yahudi Ki Ladki by Agha Hashar Kashmiri, a classic in Parsi-Urdu theatre. The film's lyricist, Shailendra, won a Filmfare award for his song, "Yeh Mera Diwanapan Hai" sung by Mukesh, that went on to become a cult classic.


  • Title: Photographic still of Meena Kumari from the Hindi film, Yahudi
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1958
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 15 cm, W. 20.7 cm ; paper H. 15.7 cm, W. 21.4 cm
  • Type: Photographic Film Still
  • Contributor: Banner: Bombay Films; Producer: Savak B. Vacha; Written by Nabendu Ghosh (screenplay) & Wajahat Mirza (dialogue); Music by Shankar Jaikishan, Lyrics by Shailendra; Cinematography by Dilip Gupta; Edited by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
  • Medium: Silver gelatin print on photo paper
  • Photographic Subject(s): Meena Kumari (born Mahjabeen Bano) was an Indian film actress, singer and poet under the pseudonym, Naaz. She is regarded as one of the greatest actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi cinema. Beginning as a child artiste in the industry, and over a career spanning three decades, Meena Kumari starred in more than 90 films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status such as Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Pakeezah, Mere Apne, Aarti, Baiju Bawra, Parineeta, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai and Char Dil Char Rahen. Although earning the epithet, The Tragedy Queen of Indian cinema both for her rich portrayal of tragic roles and her tumultous personal life and relationship with her husband Kamal Amrohi, she is also known for her work in light hearted films like Azaad, Miss Mary, Shararat and Kohinoor. Meena Kumari won four Filmfare awards in the Best Actress category and was the recipient of the very first Filmfare Best Actress award in 1954 for Baiju Bawra, with a consecutive win in the second Filmfare Awards 1955 for her performance in Parineeta. She also made history at the 10th Filmfare Awards in 1963, as the sole performer to have ever held all nominations for a single award — going on to finally win the Best Actress award for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, which continues to be remembered as one of the best performances in Indian Cinema. Although her life and career was tragically cut short by her death due to liver cirrhosis at the age of 38, she has been iconically defined by her final film to release: Pakeezah. Paakezah, envisioned and directed by Kamal Amrohi was begun in 1956, coming to a standstill with Meena Kumari's separation from her husband. Picking up the ropes in 1969, with a gravely ill Meena Kumari, it was finally completed and released in 1972 — two months before Kumari's unfortunate demise. Since gaining cult status in Indian cinematic circles, the film epitomises both Meena Kumari's dedication to her art bespeaking a golden era in the Hindi film industry, as well as her beauty, grace and ability to bring to life the inner complexities of tragic roles.
  • Department: Popular Art

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