Writing With Fire
Director: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh Run Time: 92 min. Release Year: 2021 Language: Hindi
Starring: Meera Devi
Please Note: All in-person screenings at the Brattle require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test as of 10/1/2021.
This first-time feature from filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh is a paean to local journalism in the age of digital pivots, featuring an ensemble cast of the all-women Dalit reporters of Khabar Lahariya newspaper. Tackling camera and editing duties themselves, Thomas and Ghosh’s angle traces the real results and burgeoning Internet sensation of the newspaper through closely following three of the newspaper’s writers, whose differing education levels and marriage statuses serve to highlight the oppressive power of sex- and caste-based discrimination today in a Hindu-nationalist India. Inspirational through sheer determination and will, the film avoids hagiography by including everyday situations of humor and pitfalls, reaching into Meera, Suneeta, and Shyamkali’s personal lives as well as pulling back into the day-to-day processes necessary to keep a publication alive. The different registers cohere together in one of this year’s surefire documentary crowd-pleasers. (AS)
“Still, the filmmakers illuminate plenty: the necessary negotiations with men for low-caste women to speak up in relative safety; how caste discrimination works, especially for working women; and perhaps most importantly, the change that can happen when the most marginalized members of a society empower themselves.” – Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter
World Premiere at 2021 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the World Cinema Audience Award and Special Jury Award: Impact for Change. Official Selection of 2021 Blackstar Film Festival, 2021 Hot Docs, and 2021 CPH:DOX.