SCARRED- A documentary on acid attacks

The film is to be screened at New York on the 21st of March, for the UN Violence Against Women Day.

‘Scarred’ is a film that I shot while I was in my final semester. Being a Visual Communication student, my interest in films have only grown with time and my love for the medium has become stronger. Film making is more of a passion than anything else.

The documentary, ‘Scarred’ is beyond all a small attempt by someone in the big wide world to tell a story, the story of these women, who I call brave. Who have fought a battle that was never theirs and still emerged victorious. They are testimony to the fact that appearance and outer beauty does not define a person. Even though they lost their face they braved the tests of time, fought the underlying patriarchal notions of society, stood up for themselves and today no force can wipe out their identity!

Their  stories have the power to change lives, to touch people. ‘Scarred’ isn’t just a film, it is a message that must reach out to millions of people who are unaware of the gravity of the situation.

While I was shooting the documentary I never imagined as to how this film would reach people. I was just experiencing the whole journey, a life changing journey. Three months of the shoot was an unforgettable experience. It changed my perception of the world, in one short sentence, ‘IT CHANGED ME’.

After the edit and the release, I knew that ‘Scarred’ was the closest thing to my heart. I knew that this film will change lives. Will it bring change in the society? Will it change the world? Will it change the system? No, these were questions I cannot answer and quite frankly, I am unsure of it. But I know that each individual who watches ‘Scarred’ will take back something, something that might touch your heart, something you will always remember, something that will bring you close to humanity, closer than it would to reality. 30 minutes will be an experience that you will never forget and that, I am sure of.

The film looks at the underlying patriarchal structure that guides the entire mental and physical functioning of the society. It looks into the misogynistic ideologies that exists till date. My main aim was to send a message across to the world, to you! What that message is only the film will tell.

Scarred urges you to not just lend your ears but to lend your hearts to the issue.

Scarred is the second documentary all India to be made on the issue of Acid Attacks and the first to gain a nationwide platform. The film has been featured in leading newspapers in India.

It has been running in several film festivals and has won all the categories in the Rolling Frames International Film Festival (Best Documentary, Best Editing, Best Music Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Direction). It was also nominated in the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival and the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, a State Award. It is currently running for the Zero mm Youth Film Festival South Asia, 2016.

An interview in Asianet, a leading Kerala News Channel.

Recent coverage in the Deccan Chronicle, Kerala

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 3.38.33 pm

Here is ‘Scarred’ in the Deccan Herald, leading national English daily.

Scarred Deccan Herald

Featured in the Deccan Chronicle

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A story of it was in the Bangalore Mirror, the first paper that covered Scarred.

Scarred Bangalore Mirror

AND LASTLY, THE DNA
Available online, please do read through.
http://www.iamin.in/en/bangalore-south/news/young-filmmaker-talks-tough-37938

I request you to watch the film and get back to me with your thoughts.

The Legacy

This is a poem on the horrid, bonded labour system that still persists in the nation. A must read!

Sire, sire let me go,
I’m old, I cannot work no more.

I have a family and five young ones.
I’ve been here for years, spare me some months.

The sire was angered by the servant’s plea!
He said, “Before you leave, return all that you owe me!”

The servant had worked for years on end
For a loan his father had taken to spend.

He couldn’t say a word because he had no money
He was tired of all he saw- greed and gluttony

The Zamindar said cunningly, “Give me your son in turn
He will work much harder, the loan to return.”

The servant was helpless and cried at his fate
He picked up the sickle to go back to the estate

“I will not do to my son, what my father did to me.
He has a life of his own, let him live it happily.”

With tears in his eyes, he touched his body so timid
His hand shivered, he stopped for a minute.

His head spun around, the heat at its peak.
Fell dead on the ground-the story of the weak.

His family was shattered, poverty stricken
The very son he tried to protect was now the Zamindar’s victim.

-SARAH THOMAS

INDIA’S DAUGHTER: OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT

Dear Government,

India’s Daughter, I considered myself one too and so did half the nation living under one government, hoping for the same damn thing since ages- our rights and our freedom! My freedom! Come to think of it, it’s strange that in our world we ask for our freedom, ask for our rights to be given to us, for justice to be done. Why ask? Why beg? Is this what it all is? The modern, independent woman must bow down and succumb to the pressures of the male dominated society and beg that justice be done to her? Does that give you a sense of power?
 
I am a woman and I live in India. And yes I am afraid, afraid all the time that I am a woman, afraid that I live in a land that through actions, time and again have proved being a woman gives you no right, no freedom. Up until now, I like many others believed that someday there will be better security, better hope, better future and if nothing more at least equality of man and woman. But I was foolish and so are you if you think better of the future.
 
I’m sure now that I have accepted that and am willing to close my eyes to you, the fascist government, infringing on my right and upholding the very thought that man and woman of the modern world have tried to fight, the mindset of a woman being the lowly one, the less deserving one, the world is going to be a better place. Isn’t that all you want, the men in power who are sitting on your high chairs (surprisingly with the votes of man and woman alike)? You want us to turn a blind eye to all that threatens us, turn a blind eye to the hurt and the wounds on our body and walk away from it all, like nothing happened. But dear government, we have been quiet too long and you can ban all that you want, but you will never be able to ban and stop the fire that is ignited within.
 
India’s Daughter reflects the mentality of not just the rapists or the so called ‘educated’ lawyer, it reflects the mentality of the society that we live in. The men that we women may be brushing shoulders against in buses and trains and it shows just how unsafe we are! Ban it, to give us a false notion of security but trust me dear ones, on those high chairs we did not need a documentary to tell us this society is full of misogynistic ideas and men who are equal to stray dogs running on the roads. We did not need a lawyer to point out the fucked up state of our nation. We knew it all along, it’s just reality hitting the entire nation at once.  
 
It sickens me to see what this great country has come to and I feel ashamed that I live under this sort of a government that had a bad past, no doubt but shows us a bleak future as well. It saddens me that Nirbhaya could be anybody, even me. What are you afraid of? Being questioned? Are you afraid that may be now a woman will come to her full power and say No! Is that what I see? Fear of the masses coming together for a woman? Is that against this country’s values and principles? The blind folded Lady of Justice in your courts has taken an all new meaning. You have tarnished the belief that I had in you.
 
You can ban the film for fear of your power be shaken, but if these atrocities require a nude protest to stop, if you require a protest with women all over to come together with their honour and chastity unhidden to send out a message that it never is in our clothes or our moves and that consent belongs to us, then that sort of a protest is not too far away.
 
In all glory I would like to say, do not proscribe the film, proscribe me! I am the fault, I am a woman! And I am a happy fault, a strong one, a powerful one, and I don’t need your permission to speak, to question, to exist!
 
Yours Faithfully,
India’s Daughter

Come dive with me

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