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In Kamathipura, Mumbai’s oldest red-light district, it’s estimated that there are currently some 20,000 sex workers doing business out of brothels. Oftentimes the “women” who are offered up by pimps and madams are are actually young girls who’ve been sold into sex slavery. In Baber K. Khan and M. Basit Ansari’s Chunri: The Dancing Death , a young girl born into prostitution finds herself trapped by happenstance, but is inspired by Bruce Lee films to rebel.
While Chunri’s days are spent preparing for the life of an escort that her captors have planned for her, she spends her free time watching old kung fu movies and teaching herself how to fight.
After the sudden death of one of Chunri’s friends at the hands of an aggressive john, she doubles down on her physical training—which has the double-edged benefit of both keeping her fit and making one of her brothel’s most in-demand dancers. One night, when a local crime boss sees Chunri, he demands that her madam arrange a personal dance for him.