in association with Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM) and Documentary Circle of Hyderabad
GULABI GANG, Nishtha Jain’s award-winning documentary.
Wednesday, 8 Jan 2014 | 6 pm | Annapurna Studios Preview Theatre (Rd 2, Banjara Hills,Hyderabad 500 034)
Nishtha Jain will intorduce the film and participate in a QandA session after the screening.
a film by Nishtha Jain
96 min/Norway/India/Denmark 2012
Enter the badlands of Bundelkhand in central India and you have entered a place of desolation, dust and despair. And yet it is hope that we discover as we follow the pink sari-clad women of Gulabi Gang. These women travel long distances by cart and tractor, bus and train, to wrest justice for women and Dalits, undeterred by sneering policemen and condescending bureaucrats. Sampat Pal, their leader is a rough-and-tough woman with a commanding personality. Despite her lack of education she has evolved her own brand of feminism and egalitarian politics. Her strength lies in her words. She is constantly on the move – today investigating a young woman’s suspicious death, tomorrow protesting against a corrupt official. The gang encounters resistance everywhere – whole villages connive in protecting the perpetrators of violence. As the film pulls us into the centre of these blazing conflicts, it uncovers a complex story, disturbing yet heartening.
Sampat Pal is from an area of northern India plagued by drought, poverty and corruption. Life there is tough for the people at the bottom of the traditional caste system, the dalits (untouchables) and women. Violence and intimidation are business as usual. Sampat became aware of the unfairness of the system at an early age. In 2006, she founded Gulabi Gang, an organization run by and for women. It raises the issue of injustice against women and dalits and teaches them how to defend themselves. The group goes from village to village dressed in pink saris and armed with sticks. The organization currently has several thousand members spread over a large area. The film documents their struggle, showing the women at recruitment meetings, investigating the death by burning of a young woman and attending to various domestic conflicts. They are fearless, and they won’t rest until an official investigation is started and the perpetrators are punished. But will they be equally persistent when their own families are involved, or will traditions gain the upper hand after all?
2012 Winner, Documentary Competition, Norwegian Short Film Festival (Golden Chair Award)
2012 Best Film, Muhr Asia Africa Documentary section, 9th Dubai International Film Festival
Nishtha Jain is a graduate from Jamia Mass Communication Centre in New Delhi. She started her career as an editor and correspondent for video news-magazines before joining the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), specializing in film direction. She works as an independent filmmaker in Bombay.