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Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Umber Singh is a Sikh who loses everything during the separation of India in 1947 and is forced to leave his homeland. He obsessively wishes for a male heir. When his fourth daughter is born, he decides to wage a fight against destiny.


Anup Singh


Anup Singh (screenplay), Madhuja Mukherjee (co-writer)
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Irrfan Khan ... Umber Singh
Tisca Chopra ... Mehar
Tillotama Shome ... Kanwar
Rasika Dugal ... Neeli
Danish Akhtar ... Young Kanwar
Sonia Bindra Sonia Bindra ... Kulbir
Faezeh Jalali ... Baali
Dhami Dhami ... Village Elder
Jitendra Kaur Jitendra Kaur ... Midwife
Sukhwinder Virk Sukhwinder Virk ... Midwife
Sarabjit Sarabjit ... Infant Sohni
Bhavya Bhavya ... Little Kulbir
Riyaz Aulakh Riyaz Aulakh ... Little Baali
Nakul Arora Nakul Arora ... Boy On the Hill
Sejal Sejal ... Young Baali


During the 1947 partition of India, Umber Singh and his family are forced to leave their village. After two girl children, his wife gives birth to a third girl child as they flee their village much to the displeasure of Umber Singh. After moving to a new place, Umber stabilizes and his wife is pregnant again. While the fourth child is also born as a female, Umber convinces himself and his wife to raise the girl child as a son throwing up complications aplenty. Written by PipingHotViews

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Drama | Fantasy | Horror


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Did You Know?


The script was written in late 90s with Balraj Sahni in mind for the lead role. See more »

User Reviews

A Psychological Interpretation of the Mahabharata
26 April 2015 | by kaustavsrockingSee all my reviews

Anup Singh's "Qissa" is one of those movies which are not meant for the mass but for a specific set of people who are well-aware of the theories of symbolism, sociology and above all, psychology. The plot is a direct interpretation of King Dhrupad's story from the Mahabharata blended with Freud's theory of Id, Ego and Subconscious.

Speaking of acting, Irrfan Khan is just brilliant again, Tillotama Shome is flawless. Tisca Chopra is perfect and Rasika Dugal is stunning.

Anup Singh and Madhuja Mukherjee's screenplay is the best gift we get from the movie.

The background score by Beatrice Thiriet and Manish J Tipu goes along with the slow pace of the movie but not very apt considering the Punjabi background of the movie. But the songs are brilliant, got a flavor of Lohri and the Punjabi Tappas.

I couldn't relate the landscape. Punjab hasn't got that much of hilly terrains.

Cinematography by Sebastian Edschmid is simply superb.

We need more movies like this even considering the fact that it's not for the commercial sector of the industry. Movies like this are essential to understand cinema and it's theories. It is a pride that Nandan, Kolkata has got a screening of this feature.

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Official Sites:

Heimatfilm [Germany]


Germany | India | Netherlands | France



Release Date:

10 July 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tale of a Lonely Ghost See more »

Filming Locations:

Punjab, India

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