Five Powerful Films on Women Issues in 7th Woodpecker International Film Festival

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A still from the film "Hell and Hope" directed by Amish Srivastava. (Photo: Amish Srivastava)

Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF), India’s best known film festival on issue-based cinema is back with an an engaging line up of films and documentaries. Here are five must watch films on women issues in the upcoming edition of the festival.

Film: Hell and Hope, Director: Amish Srivastava

Islamic State militants abducted, raped, tortured and sold thousands of girls. A few girls risked their lives to escape. What happened to them? This documentary follows those girls. This film not only reflects the horrific experience that these young women suffered, but also shows how their lives have been changed. This is one of the first testimonies showing the world what it takes for ISIS victims to start the process of healing.

Film: Mother, Daughter, Sister, Director: Jeanne Marie Hallacy

Amae, Thamee, Ama (Mother, Daughter, Sister) gives voice to Kachin and Rohingya women calling for an end to sexual violence in conflict. The film revolves around the stories of four women: Shamima, a volunteer counselor working with survivors of military rape in the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, Dil Kayas, a teenage survivor and San Lung and Lu Ra, the sister and mother of two Kachin school teachers brutally raped and killed in 2015, allegedly by the Burmese military. Powerful testimonies from survivors, witnesses and activists explore the far-reaching impact of sexual violence and trauma upon communities, woven with stories of courageous women calling for justice and an end to impunity.

Film: Mamatva, Director: Kirti

In a village in Western Uttar Pradesh state of India, a woman who belongs to a lower caste used to be the mid wife of the village. When her younger sister in law gives birth to a son, the wish to have her own child becomes stronger in her. In this period, living in a family where she is seen as a curse, faces more and more discrimination for not being a mother. All this while, the darker forces inside her come to live and she plans to do a ritual which involves taking bath by sitting on the baby to attain motherhood. She abducts the baby but could not perform the ritual as while holding the baby in her arms true motherhood evokes within her and she fights the darkness within her. She returns with the baby while nobody now believes her. The family disintegrates and the baby is separated from her as she sings lullaby for him from far away.

Film: Womeniya, rhythm of change, Director: Aakash Arun

The documentary highlights the life and journey of a group of women in the Dhibra village near Patna who have organised themselves to form a musical band. The village which falls in the Punpun block of the state capital of Bihar, India and has been a witness to a silent revolution pioneered by these women belonging to the socially backward castes.

Film: Posharini, Director: Sreecheta Das

Driven by circumstances to take to hawking in the local trains, Gauri comes of her own after overcoming professional challenges, acute territorial jealousy from her peers and her own hesitation and lack of confidence.

7th Woodpecker International Film Festival will be organised form November 29-December 1, 2019 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. Entry is Free in the Festival.

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