'India's Daughter' raised issues globally: US writer

Posted on 17th Mar 2015 01:15 pm by mohit kumar

Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) Batting for women's safety "anywhere, anytime", an American writer on women's issues in Hollywood on Monday said banned documentary "India's Daughter" has opened up discussions on important issues across the globe.

The documentary is about the gang rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, who was brutally assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in Delhi.

Melissa Silverstein, writer and founder-editor of the site 'Women and Hollywood', said she was "hit" by the fact that the victim was subjected to the brutality after she went out and watched a film.

"I have seen the movie... it's an important movie to have a conversation with. Women should be safe when they go outside, anywhere, anytime. It is raising very important issues not only in this country but all across," Silverstein told the media here.

The documentary kicked up a storm after one of the rape convicts, Mukesh Singh, was interviewed in Delhi's Tihar jail.

It also has comments from the convicts' counsel A.P. Singh and M.L. Sharma, who allegedly made derogatory remarks against women.

The documentary caused an uproar among a section of people in India after the government banned its telecast in all formats.

"You never hear rapists talk that way and there's no remorse. You killed a person who had an amazing future ahead of her... just because she went to the movies and it hits me because I write about movies," said Silverstein.

The documentary had its US premiere on March 9. It was attended by the likes of Meryl Streep and Frieda Pinto.

What was disturbing for Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock was the account of the convicts' counsels.

"It was disturbing to hear what they had to say. They are educated but hold such views... just goes to show what women have to encounter," Mock said.

Mock's repertoire includes Oscar winner "Maya Lin: A Strong Vision", a feature film about the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Oscar-nominated films like "Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember" and "SING!", on one of the best American children's choruses.

"Films by women for women can make a change and tell stories which don't get out normally," Mock said.

They were here as part of the fifth edition of "Our Voice, Our Journey", a series of events to explore the lives of dynamic women and the difference they have made to their communities, organised by the American Center in collaboration with Ananta Aspen Center.

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