The Hindu, 4 Nov 2015

Where the two converge…

ATIF KHAN

Madhureeta Anand’s upcoming film “Kajarya” deals with female infanticide and the rural-urban divide

Entertainment and social commitment in Hindi films rarely go hand in hand. But the Capital witnessed a different kind of event where the two intertwined. It was the trailer launch of upcoming thriller Kajarya. It explores the life of two women – one rural and another from an urban background.

Set in Delhi and Haryana, it is written and directed by Madhureeta Anand, who in order to get her subject right stayed in villages to understand the urban-rural divide.

Interestingly, the socially relevant film was launched at Jantar Mantar, a location for social movement. A unique candle light vigil was also held for “50 million girls” who have gone missing in the country.

The story is about two women. Do you want to portray the urban-rural divide through the film?

Yeah, it is about the life of two women who should never have met as both have a different background. But their lives get completely intertwined by a stroke of fate. In some ways, it starts influencing each other’s life and then how it brings a change in them is what the film is all about.

What motivated you to make a film on this issue of female infanticide?

In my early days as a film professional I did not have much idea about this issue but when the 2011Census came out, I was shocked as it moved me as a woman where our very existence is coming under cloud.

What made you choose Jantar Mantar, a platform-of-resent, instead of an air conditioned hotel in Delhi to launch the trailer of your film?

The film is basically a question for the whole society. That is the reason for choosing Jantar Mantar because it is a place from where the popular voices come. One Billion Rising, an initiative started by Eve Ensler, is endorsing our film. Through the film we want to start a full-fledged campaign against female infanticide.

It has taken a long journey for this film to release in India. Share us the details.

The toughest task was the writing part as I had to do research. And for that I had to live in villages to understand the lives of women there. And funding for this kind of films is not easy. So it was a tough journey but later when it received rave reviews from festivals and people like Kamla Bhasin, Eve Ensler and many organisations then it became a journey for all women.

How are you planning to release Kajarya as it is always a difficult task for finding distributors for this kind of films?

We are planning to release the film in 100 screens and if it does well we will expand the distribution. I want to connect with people from different walks of life and not only intellectuals and cinema literates. I want to reach out to the common man through different means.

How did Eve Ensler, a renowned writer and social activist, come on board?

She saw the film after it was made. I received an e-mail from her in which she called the film as a fierce and disturbing film on the traditional oppression of women. As a woman, it moved her. It was a very kind gesture from her as I am a big fan of her.

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