Exploring gender-based violence through cinema

Film festival

The Accused, starring Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis and Bernie Coulson, is a story of a young woman who suffers a brutal rape in a bar, and her fight for justice.

Another film, The Color Purple, narrates the story of a black Southern woman (Whoopi Goldberg) who, after suffering abuse from her father and others for 40 long years, strives to find her identity.These and a few other movies will be screened at the upcoming Gender Based Violence film festival.

Organised by the American Center in collaboration with Cinedarbaar, the idea behind the two-day festival is to raise awareness about gender-based violence through American cinema.

“The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and ends on International Human Rights Day (December 10). The festival seeks to explore the different faces of ‘gender violence’ through the world of these movies,” Supriya Rohit, artistic director, Cinedarbaar tells Metrolife.

“At the same, what we’ve set out to achieve is to create a forum for dialogue with practitioners and people who are working as crusaders on this front in India to generate awareness about the same,” she adds.

So, while The Accused (1988) and North Country (2005) will be screened on December 11, The Color Purple (1985), What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) and Safe Haven (2013) will be screened the next day.

The screenings will be followed by discussions with activist and gender practitioner Prabhleen Tuteja who will explore the theme of gender-based violence in context to the film screened.

Giving details of the basis on which the movies were shortlisted, Rohit says, “There are few core elements that make up the programming such as rights, themes and the fictional representation (since a lot of documentaries are usually screened at such festivals). The films explore different ideas of gender violence such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. At the same time, films will also reflect the courage and positive steps women take to stand up and fight for their justice.

The balance between the violence and the courage to fight was kept.” The festival will be organised on December 11 and 12 at The American Center Auditorium (basement level), 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg.

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