Shyam Benegal, one of India's best known directors, has announced a major international film on the life of Noor Inayat Khan, the courageous Indian woman who was a secret agent in the Second World War and was awarded the George Cross for her bravery.
Based on the best-selling and critically acclaimed book The Spy Princess, by Shrabani Basu, with a screenplay by Lord Meghnad Desai and Kishwar Desai, the film will bring a new dimension to Indian cinema. It will be the first Indian film where the language will be English, French, German and Hindi.
Noor's amazing story of courage and sacrifice will be brought to celluloid by an international cast and will be shot entirely on location in Britain and France. It will be the first Indian movie to be set during the Second World War.
Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan, was the daughter of the Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan and his American wife. Born in Moscow, she was brought up in France and Britain.
<b1>Noor was the first woman to be infiltrated into occupied France as a radio operator and worked undercover in Paris helping the French Resistance. She was betrayed and captured and brutally murdered by the Germans in Dachau Concentration Camp. She was awarded the George Cross by the British government and the French honoured her with the Croix de Guerre.
Desai said: "The story of Noor Inayat Khan transcends nations and cultures. It is an intensely human story of a woman brought up to tell the truth and eschew violence. Yet she fought as a spy and died in a Nazi concentration camp with the word "Liberte" on her lips.
"Noor was Indian and French and British, a Sufi and a fighter, a gentle musician and a brave soldier. This is why her appeal is cosmopolitan".