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Celebrating women!

November 27, 2003 19:05 IST

Women who survived brutal military violence in the Bangladesh war of liberation; victims of honour killings in Pakistan and survivors of incest in Sri Lanka, will all feature in a film festival beginning November 30 in Kolkata.

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The Festival of Films from South Asia, to be screened as part of the International Fortnight Protesting Violence
against Women and Girls that began November 26, will showcase films from five countries -- Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.

The 1971 genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani army and their collaborators against civilian population in
Bangladesh is an oft-told story, but Tareque and Catherine Masud's Women And War will chronicle, for the first time, stories of women of different communities who suffered rape, fought back and survived.

The 25-minute documentary depicts chilling pictures of burnt homes and destroyed families.

The three-day festival features Sonia Jabbar's Autumn's Final Country, the story of Indu, Zarina, Shahnaz and Anju, who suffer displacement in the conflict-ridden state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Jabbar's hour-long testimonial explores the life of each woman as she relates the circumstances leading to her
rootlessness and reveals an intimate dimension of the Kashmir conflict, raising questions about patriarchal values and
power, communal identities, patriotism and war. 

The Sri Lankan entry Yet Another Five directed by Anona Rajakaruna presents the stories of five women who suffer sexual abuse within the family and outside in intimate relationships. The 27-minute film highlights the callous attitude of society towards the brultalities and mental torture women face.

Not to be missed is the Pakistani production Murder In Purdah directed by Giselle Partenter. This acclaimed BBC
documentary gives a spine-chilling account of the tradition of honour killing in the Islamic Republic. Also exploring the many-layered life of women as mothers, sisters and daughters within a family is the Nepalese story, Mother, Sister, Daughter.

Directed by Bandana Rana, the film explores the various forms of mental and physical violence women in Nepal face
every single day. 

Octogenerian filmmaker Mrinal Sen will also address a panel discussion on Women, Violence and Conflict, along with Mallika Sengupta, Anita Agnihotri and Ananya Chatterjee.

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