A Throw of Dice
Directed by Franz Osten
A lavish silent super-production comprising 10,000 extras, a thousand horses, and scores of elephants, A Throw of Dice is the climax of German film pioneer Franz Osten's richly cinematic sojourn in India. In this "fairy tale for adults" (BBC) inspired by the ancient Sanskrit epic poem The Mahabharata, royal cousins and rulers of adjoining kingdoms King Sohat (producer/star Himansu Rai) and King Rajit (Charu Roy) share a reckless passion for gambling, the perilous jungle tiger hunt, and the beautiful maiden Sunita (Seeta Devi). After a tiger nearly claims Rajit's life, Sunita nurses the handsome young king back to health and becomes his bride. Knowing that the only thing stronger than love in Rajit's heart is a compulsive fascination with games of chance, jealous Sohat challenges his cousin to a winner-take-all contest where the stakes are freedom, marriage, and life itself.
"Lovingly restored" (The Guardian UK) by the British Film Institute to a level of ravishing spectacle and splendor unseen since its debut in 1929, this "immaculately dressed and beautifully shot" (Times of London) masterpiece of the late silent period is complemented by a "stirring" (Guardian) and "brilliantly evocative new score" (BBC) composed by Nitin Sawhney. A sensation when it re-premiered in London's Trafalgar Square in 2007, Kino is proud to present A Throw of Dice for the first time on US DVD.