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LFF - PINK SARIS [2010] dir Kim Longinotto

 

PINK SARIS is easily one of the most interesting, relevant and fascinating documentaries I have ever seen. Kim Longinotto has pretty much raised the bar for all the documentaries that will be screening at the London Film Festival this year. Also, it is no wonder that it has been nominated for a few awards. 

The film documents and celebrates Sampat Pal, a woman fighting social injustices towards women and girls in Northern India. And Sampat is more than deserving of the film's attention; a formidable and fiery character who, still remembering her past, is trying to educate and prevent that the same happens to others in the future. 

Sampat is part of the untouchable caste, the lowest social class, and she fights on the behalf of girls and women of the same caste who have been beaten, raped and kicked out by their husband's families, most of the time, the husband being away in the city. The situations repeat themselves with different young girls - husband away working in the city leaves his young wife in the care of his family, she is expected to work, but she is abused and, many times, raped by the father-in-law and, when she runs away not being able to support much more of her mistreatment, they eventually kick her out of their house. It is incredibly complex - not only the relationships, but also the traditions - and Sampat is trying to reenforce the laws, trying to get the police to do something about the situations. 

There's a case of forbidden love; an untouchable, Renu, runs away with a boy from a higher caste, Guddu, however his family is trying to prevent their union as it will bring dishonour on the family. Guddu decides to go back to his family and leaves Renu (who got divorced from her untouchable caste husband to marry Guddu). Sampat decides to take Renu in as her daughter and educate her so she can return to her native village and show her mother that caste should not be a reason to stop anyone in modern India. 

 

Ultimately, we are shown India as a vast country with an old history and traditions, in order for the country to develop, the caste system must be scrapped and traditions will have to be modernised. Sampat, ultimately is sacrificing her marriage to help strangers. India's development will come at a cost, but Sampat is such a formidably strong woman that she vows never to give up her struggle, to never forget what happened in her history and help Indian women forward. 

 

A documentary that no one can dare to miss! 

 

 

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About Tania Martins

Tania Martins

Filmmaker. Student. Blogger. Film Critic. Festival Organiser. Freelance Cameraperson. Explorer. Longboarder. WELCOME!

 


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