Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bawander (Sand Storm)

After a long time i saw a movie that shook me completely. I was wondering what happened to those new wave cinema directors, where are the nihlani's who took movies like Aakrosh and ardh sathya that made you protest against the prevailing judicial systems. Atlast i found one movie which gave the same feeling that i had after watching Aakrosh or Ardh sathya. It is Bawander. Wait iam not saying that the director is that great. Director Jagmohan's biggest contribution to the movie is choosing the story.His directorial history will make you think that he is the last person in the world,who can direct a movie like this.But he has.

Bawandar is based on the true story of a rajasthani sathin* worker Bhanwari Devi.she was brutally raped by the higher caste gujjar in 1992.Her fight for justice have been going on since then.The movie is about that high profile case and the incident behind it.

The movie is set in a remote village of dhabri in rajasthan.It is a different world. A world, very far away from us.A world where child marriage still happens, where the age old code of caste system is followed, where a man can have his way, where questioning and reasoning are a SIN.

Nandhitha Das plays the role of Bhanwari devi renamed as Saanvri in the movie and raghuveer yadav plays her husband Sohan.Shobha Devi(Deepthi naval) is a fellow saathin worker.

The movie starts with the marriage of savnri.Savnri is a small girl child sleeping in the cot.They wake her up for her marriage. A child marriage is conducted. The movie moves on to present day and a foreign reporter Amy(Laila Rouass) comes to that remote village to cover sanvri's story.

Sanvari tells her story.She get into the saathin and creates a stir among the upper caste gujjar's for talking against child marriage and fighting for women rights. Result she gets raped by the big guys of the village, that to in front of her husband. The rape doesn't stop there, she again gets raped, this time judicially.

The movie is not about acting or film making. The great thing about it is its story and kudos to the director for bringing to life the story of a rural heroine and making people think about our judicial system.

The director saathin organizer deepthi navel has to suffer from male dominated society. And every issue like this is exploited by the politicians/NGO's etc.Her son welcomes her and speaks in english.

Jagmohan had faltered in lot of places but the story carries the movie. He portraits a black and white picture of the story.where every body other than bhanwari,sohan and shobana devi(deepthi naval) are bad and every body other than sohan and shobana are trying to take advantage of her .Ironically some people think jagmohan he himself took advantage of bhanwari's story.The journalist friend Ravi(Rahul Khanna) is a totally unnecessary character. I don't have a clue what is the significance of this characters and scenes involving him and amy. Similarly Deepthi naval's problems with her husband, the starting scenes of banwari's childhood marriage and then moving to a different time and flashbacks were all totally unnecessary, he could have given a simple straight narration of the story.

The movie is well supported by the cast.Apart from the main actors it also includes

Gulshan Grover .... Advocate Pratap Chauhan
Govind Namdeo .... Dhanraj Meena (MLA)
Ishrat Ali .... Purnia Gujjar (sarpanch)
Yashpal Sharma .... Sarju
Lalit Tiwari .... Tej Karan
Anupam Shyam .... Mangal Panda (pandit)
Ashok Banthia
Shri Vallabh Vyas (as Shrivallabh Vyas)
Ravi Jhankal .... Police Inspector

Music is by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.The songs were good.Here the songs here

The movie is written,directed and edited by jagmohan mudra.

#)Jagmohan Mundhra is coming up with a new film "Provoked" starring Aishwarya Rai.And it is the true story of a London-based Indian housewife Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a lady who killed her husband, cause she was not able to tolerate his physical abuse for years.she brought about a change in the English law after she was convicted.

#)Jagmohan mudra is a IIT alumni (BTech EE '68).


My post on Bhanwari Devi.

nandita interview on bhawandar
another one
interview with jagmohan
Dig at Jagmohan
Long wait for justice
more links on bawandar

*Sathin(friend) is a women’s development programme run by the govt of Rajasthan.

wow looks like a very empowering story, will try to watch it, hope netflix has it.
hope u read my post on bhanwari devi.Not sure whether it is available in netflix.He another news has started dvd rental in usa.This is a DVD from u can rent it from them i guess.
Checked NF they dont have it, as of now. Will check eros too.
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