Salma , a film that tells the story of a young woman who took solace in writing when she faced the darkest moments in her life including domestic violence, will be screened by Vikalp Bengaluru from August 17 to 22 on its website.
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Salma is about a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, who was locked up when she turned 13 in an attempt to forbid her from studying and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became a famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village. Her extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience. The film returns with Salma to her village as she bravely confronts her culture’s hidden violence and contradictions.
The Tamil film, with English subtitles, is directed by Kim Longinotto, a British documentary film-maker known for films that highlight the condition of female victims of oppression or discrimination. She is known for films like Gaea Girls , challenging the tradition of female genital mutilation in Kenya, The Day I Will Never Forget , and her latest Shooting the Mafia premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
The event will also feature Ponni Arasu (a Tamil Feminist historian, performance artist, lawyer and translator who is also a member of the Marappachchi Feminist Theatre Collective in Chennai) being in conversation with the director and Rajathi Salma, a contemporary poet, who has overcome “orthodoxy, marital violence and imprisonment” in her own home.
The event is presented in collaboration with Bangalore International Centre.
(Visit Vikalp website to register for the live talk on August 19, 6.30 p.m.).