Hyderabad: Pinjaron ki Udaan (Flight of Cages), a short film based on the struggle of women in the old city of Hyderabad, was screened recently at Urdu Ghar near Charminar.
Girl students of government schools and housewives from around Charminar gathered in large numbers to watch the movie. The screening of the film was organised byShaheen, a Women Resource and Welfare Association that operates from the Old City.
The film portrays the gender-related issues in the area. It also talks about the mode of intervention made by police and District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).
Jameela Nishat, Director ofShaheen said, “The journey to tackle problems faced by women comprises contestation, negotiations and meeting the challenges. My reflection on the past struggles points out that religion, caste and patriarchy are interconnected. They have a bearing on women’s social position in the household and community.”
Nishat said that the 83-minute long film has characters that are raising their voice against domestic violence, harassment, child abuse and marriages with Arabs from the Gulf countries. The film also narrates stories of violence, survival and struggle of women.
Nishat believed that the women featured by her in the film are embedded in various castes and religion. The common thread among these characters is the sustenance of patriarchy. It is a challenge they face each day of their life and combat it.
The invisible faces and voices that were forbidden to be raised receive significant attention in Pinjaron ki Udaan.
The film is directed by Sujith Kumar who hails from Kerala and is a student of film institute. He has been following Shaheen on social media. During a visit to Hyderabad he spoke at length about how he has seen the areas that are being dealt byShaheen. He said he wanted to make a documentary on the subject. “We agreed. I feel that he has directed the movie with sensitivity and appears emotionally involved,” Nishat said.
Siasat.com spoke with Sultana who plays one of the characters in the film. She said, “The film showcases emotions of women, their voices and stories of violence beautifully. It has offered a message to other women by showing how we have overcome the hurtful past and embraced the present which is joyful.” She felt that there can be a film on her too. She wished to invite her family and community members for the screening. “I hope they hear her on the screen and understand what she aspires and long for. She is now filled with hope,” said Sultana about her character.
The film captures everyday life of women by traveling to their homes and places of work. The film gives a glimpse of the day-to-day life in the area by bringing into frames the narrow streets and small spaces the characters live in.
The journey towards gender equality is not independent of the contribution of different stakeholders to the mission. The issues and the intervention made by police and District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) have been properly highlighted. The film also talks about the experiences of Nishat and what led her to start Shaheen.
Through the screening,Shaheen aims to reach out to wider audience and draw their attention to the everyday issues of women in the Old City followed by fruitful discussions on gender equality and mode of intervention for gender justice.