U.K. filmmaker backs protest against Modi

Leslie Udwin, who made the critically acclaimed documentary India’s Daughter, has voiced her support for protests organised against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to London on November 12. Ms. Udwin however insisted that has not been personally involved in organising any of the Modi-related protests. Recent news reports have said that she issued a “public appeal” to bring together “hundreds, if not thousands” of protesters in a demonstration outside the Wembley Stadium where Mr. Modi will address a 60,000-strong audience of UK Indians on November 13.

“I did not personally put out such a call, but would love to see it happen. I don’t wish to disdain the objectives of those who did. I applaud them,” the filmmaker told The Hindu .

Ms. Udwin’s searing documentary tells the story of Nirbhaya, a young woman who was brutally raped in New Delhi in December 2012 from the perspective of her family, friends, activists, and one of her rapists and his lawyer. It fell afoul of the Indian government, which banned it in March this year on the grounds that it sought to “defame India.”

Ms. Udwin, who was on her way from the United States to London to attend the Grierson Award ceremony where her film has been shortlisted for Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme (International), expressed her distress at the persistence of the “obstinate machismo” that underlies the continuing ban on her film in India.

“The Indian government, under pressure from an outcry on social media by regressive Indian men, withdrew a ban they themselves had imposed on over 800 pornography sites, but refuse to do so for a documentary that seeks a better world for women. They are embarrassing themselves,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Udwin’s documentary has been collecting awards worldwide. These include the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the recently concluded 18th United Nations Association Film Festival, and the Asian Media Award in the best investigation category.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 12:44:39 pm |