N Touch
Tuesday 25 September 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Lights, camera, activism


THE EDITOR: September brings one of the most anticipated events of the year for many nationals. The TT Film Festival. Using the slogan “high on film,” this 2017 installation of cinematic art is bound to get patrons buzzing.

On Wednesday I had the absolute pleasure and privilege to sit in a packed cinema to view Lipstick Under my Burkha. As a film enthusiast and passionate feminist, I was really looking forward to some provocative, consciousness-raising on screen narratives.

Hailing from Mumbai, female director Alankrita Shrivastava was successful in revealing the world of Indian women, a world that is not only silenced but usually glamorised and exoticised through Bollywood and Hollywood cinema.

Lipstick Under my Burkha courageously visibilised harsh realities of women by chronicling the lives of four different women experiencing different forms of oppression. They dreamt of freedom from the patriarchal society that confines and limits them.

Igniting a fire in me, I thought of my own life as an Indian woman and the lives of other women who still dream of worlds far different from the one we live in. Cinema is most definitely a tool of activism, in this case, feminist activism.

Lipstick Under my Burkha highlighted marital rape, issues around reproductive rights, forced marriage, female sexuality and freedom of expression of self. The burkha, the lipstick and the dream, all symbols in these women’s journeys.

Around the world women and girls have many dreams. It is a dream for a girl to freely wear jeans and to express herself through dance. It is a dream to marry for love and passion. It is a dream for a woman to have reproductive rights and to say when and how he wants to have sex with her husband. It is a dream for a woman to have sexual desires after she has become widowed.

Lipstick Under my Burkha is a must see. It is screening again on Monday at MovieTowne, Port of Spain, at 8.30 pm.


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