Thursday, June 12, 2014

The world before her

 I  happened to watch The world before her , a documentary that's been running in theaters lately. As the film's promotions state - "it moves between two extremes - the intimate drama of the Miss India pageant's rigorous beauty "boot camp" and the intense regime of a Hindu Nationalist camp for young girls."  There are aspects of the film that are extremely disturbing. At the same time, the film surprised me, as I left the theatre feeling extremely affectionate towards, and charmed by the young girls interviewed at the Durga Vahini camp. (Which is why perhaps , it is also at the same time heartbreaking). The kindness with which the film maker, Nisha Pahuja treats her subjects  in the film, is also palpable in  this quote from  an interview she gave. She says - "all of our belief systems: whether they be democracy, fundamentalism or patriarchy..all of them, like us, are constructs..products of time,place and numerous other things beyond our control" 
 (On the sketch: I saw this teenager  flipping through fashion magazines while I got a haircut , and something about the moment  made me think of those young girls  from the film once again. How much of her life, would really  be her choice. Perhaps I was witnessing a moment where some choices were unconsciously being made? ) 

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