The Black Prince is based on the life of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last king of the Sikhs, who was forced to convert after being fostered by a British missionary.
Flemyng plays the prince’s foster father, Dr John Login, who saw it as his duty to bring him up as a Christian. The actor said the film showed how people were affected when they were “ripped out of their own culture and transported to another way of life”.
He said: “If you want to bring the story up to date it is really about howThe Black Prince is based on the life of Maharajah Duleep Singh Christianity, if left to its own devices and left unchecked, can be just as capable of great atrocities as any other religion.”
The prince was only five when he came to the throne but instability gave the British the excuse to annex his kingdom.
He was sent to England as a teenager where he became a favourite of Victoria.
The prince eventually began to question the government about what happened to his land and property and returned to the Sikh faith but died penniless in Paris after several failed attempts to reclaim his crown.
Flemyng said the large number of Sikh cast and crew members, from the drivers to leading man Satinder Sartaaj, showed how important the story was.
“It is as familiar to them as Robin Hood is to us.” He said making the film rekindled his love for India which began more than two decades ago, when he filmed a remake of The Jungle Book with Game Of Thrones star Lena Headey in Rajasthan.
17 Sep 2021
18 Sep 2021