Indian filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri, whose “White” — a silent film on rape –will be shown at the 71st Cannes Film Festival on Friday, hopes the platform helps the movie reach the right people globally.
“White” tells about the fight that comes after women face rape — and it tells this through the narrative of three women leading their lives differently and how they try to come out of rape incidents in their own unique way.
That the film is silent, is an attempt to lend a touch of universality to the topic.
“‘White’ is based on the topic of rape and it is quite a universal topic. I wanted it to reach the masses globally where language would not pose to be a barrier,” Chaudhuri told IANS in an email interview.
The first tale is of a factory girl getting raped inside the work premises and her story of survival.
The second story is of a single mother and her inability to face her own child after the heinous crime on the lady, and the third is about a raped married village woman, who gets the support of her husband who attests his name on the victim child.
Chaudhuri said he didn’t chose rape as a subject.
“Rather it has chosen me. Being a filmmaker, I had responsibilities towards the society and in order to do so, I needed to utilise my camera and project the issue.
“Being a son, a brother, a sister and a father, I always possess this certain insecurity as women are not safe these days. With all those ongoing events, I believe will reach the policy makers and I foresee a change,” said the 26-year-old.
“White” is his second film to be showcased at Cannes after “The Wife’s Letter”. The former will be showcased as part of the Marche du film section.
While there’s a Indian delegation trying to push the envelope for the country’s regional films, Chaudhuri feels more needs to be done.
“Smriti Irani (Minister of Information and Broadcasting) is doing a fine job… It’s a step indeed but the problem is she should be exposed to films other than those which have already received accolades in the last one year.
“There are many more great quality movies being made in Bengal which are nowhere in the scene. However, I foresee a good future ahead.”
Visibility at a fest like Cannes helps.
“Cannes help you approach policy makers in the form of distributors and buyers, who are indirect policy makers though but again help your film reach the right people globally.
“Moreover, personally it will help me in networking with a lot of people,” said Chaudhuri, who was in a managerial job at an MNC before the filmmaking bug bit him.
He rues the battle to get a theatrical release.
“State intervention is indeed required and being a filmmaker in Bengal, I do not see a sound future here. Henceforth, I look forward to digital platforms.
“Of course, apart from reaching global audiences, I would like to make it approachable to the Indian audiences as well; but we will wait as it finishes the session of festivals.”
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Radhika Bhirani