What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. - Rukeyser
There’s a lull around us when it comes to discussing women and their day to day hardships. We shy away from talking about centuries of violence and discrimination practised against women. However, some documentary makers have over the years pierced through the silence. The vulnerability with which the story is narrated, the nakedness of facts being portrayed and the rawness of emotions have most beneficially portrayed the darker picture of Indian society.
Here's a list of some documentaries depicting the lives of Indian women:
1. Prostitutes of God
This documentary revolves around exploration of the lives of Devdasis and the sexual exploitation they go through in the name of religion. The coming together of religion and prostitution in the name of Goddess Yellanna is highlighted. Viewers are shaken off their ennui by showing dark facts like girls aged ten years being sold away to temples to become devadasis.
2. Gulabi Gang
Directed by Nishtha Jain, Gulabi Gang documentary shows the life journey of Sampat Lal, the fiery leader of Gulabi Gang and her creation of a movement in Bundelkhand against oppression of any kind faced by rural women. The documentary shows how rural women who have joined the movement and wear pink, operate in rural areas. Their strategies of scolding, beating and threatening against abusive husbands and fight against the oppressive society is what the documentary successfully manages to capture.
3. Blood On My Hands
Blood On My Hands brings forth into the sphere of discussion a very important aspect related to women’s lives: Menstruation. It explores the taboo associated around menstruation, along with the difficulties women face on a monthly basis because of lack of awareness and empathy to this reproductive cycle.
4. A Body That Will Speak
Women have to, on a daily basis, battle with societal expectations to look young and good. In order to fit into society’s notion of ideal body and beauty standards, what pressures and steps women have to involuntarily take is what this documentary shows. It highlights the silent oppression of beauty standards inflicted upon women and how difficult it is to live under constant pressures of womanhood.
5. It’s A Boy
It’s A Boy is a must watch documentary to understand gender discrimination practiced against girls since the time of birth itself. From the moment of conception of a child in the womb to the journey thereafter, the documentary exposes the gender biased nature of our society. It highlights the sex ratio in India and shows how horrifying the imbalances are. The redundant yet thriving ideology of people of India, that prefers a son over a daughter is brought forth to us to question our belief system and our degrading humanity.
It’s the 21st century now. It’s time for a change! It is our utmost duty to emerge as a more gender sensitive and educated citizen who’s ready to ‘be’ a difference and ‘make’ a difference. Are you ready to tune to some documentaries tonight?