Reviews Film

Bollywood horror film spooks eye specialists

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1395
  1. Sanjit Bagchi, private medical practitioner and medical journalist (
  1. Calcutta, India

    They fear it could undermine public confidence in cornea transplants

    Promotional material for the Bollywood horror film Naina reads, “Twenty years of Darkness. 7 days of hell. No one could survive it. She did” ( While the film—released on 20 May and now showing all over India—may not have spooked that many audiences as yet, it has terrified ophthalmologists and voluntary eye-donation campaigners all over the country.

    Embedded Image

    Sensationalist? A promotional poster for the movie

    The “hell” portrayed in the movie is the paranormal experiences of the lead character, whose eyesight is restored by a cornea transplant. According to eye specialists of the All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS), and campaigners at the Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI) and Ganadarpan (a Calcutta-based voluntary organisation), Naina could reinforce myths about cornea transplants and is poised to create a climate of fear among recipients as well as donors.

    The film tells the story of a blind girl called Naina (also meaning “eyes” in Hindi) living in London. The girl loses her eyesight in a car crash when she is 5 years old. Twenty …

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