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Shabana Azmi plays Rukmini, the madam of a bordello. The most talented among Rukmini’s girls is Zeenat (Smita Patil), the illegitimate daughter of a famous singer, and Rukmini is determined to turn her into a great concert performer.
Based on Urdu short story Anandi by Ghulam Abbas, Mandi is a sharp satire on the hypocrisy of society. Questioning the self-appointed guardians of morality and culture, director Shyam Benegal explores the world of sex workers a gaze full of empathy, kindness, and respect.