Television

‘India's Daughter’ goes international; Freida Pinto to attend US screening

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NEW DELHI: Despite the uproar in India and the government’s call for a ban, India’s Daughter by Leslee Udwin was re-telecast on BBC4 to mark International Women’s Day.

Although BBC News is available in the country, the British pubcaster aired the documentary – for the second time in five days – on BBC4, which is not available to Indian viewers.

The documentary was also screened in countries across the globe -- including Switzerland, Norway and Canada -- to mark International Women's Day and is being screened in the United States today. The film also continues to be available to Indian viewers on the internet.

The documentary is based on 26 interviews including those with the rapists of the Delhi paramedical student, who was gang-raped brutally on 16 December, 2012  and died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.

The premiere will be attended by Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep and Frieda Pinto in a show of support for the film banned in India at the Baruch College of the City University of New York and will be presented by NGO Vital Voices Global Partnership and children's development organisation - Plan International.

Streep and Pinto, who is Plan's 'Because I am a Girl' global ambassador, will be joined by the documentary's director Leslee Udwin at the screening.

Meanwhile, parents of the girl whose real name has been revealed in the documentary but who came to be known as Nirbhaya have now said that the filmmaker did not show them the final version of the documentary and they had then refused to sign release papers. The parents had earlier also objected to the documentary being aired as it not only makes the victim's name public but also includes offensive remarks made by one of the rape convicts.

Udwin, a Plan ambassador, had said the December 2012 rape and the protests that followed was an "Arab spring for gender equality.”

"What impelled me to leave my husband and two children for two years while I made the film in India was not so much the horror of the rape as the inspiring and extraordinary eruption on the streets. A cry of 'enough is enough’,” Udwin said.

"Unprecedented numbers of ordinary men and women, day after day, faced a ferocious government crackdown that included tear gas, baton charges and water cannon. They were protesting for my rights and the rights of all women. That gives me optimism. I can't recall another country having done that in my lifetime," Udwin had added.

Earlier according to a Reuter report, Udwin said India committed "international suicide" by banning the documentary.

"My whole purpose was to give a gift of gratitude to India, to actually praise India, to single India out as a country that was exemplary in its response to this rape, as a country where one could actually see change beginning," said Udwin, during a panel discussion. "The supreme irony is that they are now accusing me of having wanted to point fingers at India, defame India, and it is they who have committed international suicide by banning this film,” she added.

The British filmmaker said she was inspired to make the film after watching thousands of people take to the streets across India to protest the December 2012 rape and murder of a young physiotherapy student on a bus.

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