Staff Reporter

A film on women nominated for Nobel Prize

It highlights the struggle of women who fought for a cause

A couple of sections on brutality of security forces shock the viewer

BANGALORE: Redefining Peace: Women Lead the World, a documentary by K.P. Sasi, released recently, captures the work and struggle of nine — among 1,000 women from throughout the world — who were nominated by networks of women’s groups for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005.

Their stories are as different as their causes. For instance, the story of Magline Peter of the fishermen’s community of Kerala is about fighting the damage done by the use of trawlers and its impact on fisherwomen who face discrimination and abuse every day.

Made in 2005 and a project of YMCA, the documentary is still relevant as the causes highlighted are still alive like Medha Patkar’s Narmada Bachao Andolan or Teesta Setalvad’s fight against communal forces.

The section dealing with C.K. Janu, who fights for the rights of adivasis in Kerala and Sharmila Irome of Manipur fighting against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, are moving. “The law has lead to many tense situations and has taken many lives,” says the documentary maker.

The director related a few incidents.

A situation where the untimely screeching sound made by the sudden arrival of a Maruti, quite innocuous elsewhere, had set off a panic among army personnel and had led to a blind bout of firing that killed all of the occupants of the vehicle.

The documentary itself is a true eye opener to State-sponsored violence and scenes where adivasis are inhumanely beaten up by the police in Kerala while staging a protest or scenes exposing the brutality of the Army in Manipur drew gasps from the audience. Audience member Rebecca Lalhmangoihzali of Mizoram moved to tears by the documentary spoke of the period of intense turmoil in her state as well and highlighted the fact that many students and workers are leaving North East to settle in other parts of the country because of the continued anarchy in the region. The documentary ends on a promising note while focusing on four women of Kutch Mahila Sangh who are involved in work that stretches across providing healthcare and educating women to help them save and mobilize their savings.

The Aratti Centre plans to screen many more movies of K.P. Sasi. The director also spoke about plans to obtain and screen documentaries on the recent Nandigram violence. The Aratti Centre is located at No. 7, 20th Main, 6th Block, Koromangala (ph: 25634813).