From the Nigerian bush to the shadowy corridors of the Vatican to the fictional land of Westeros, the subject of violence against women has recently welled to the surface of public consciousness to a degree not seen since Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will was published in 1975. An upsurge in gang rapes in India – especially one notorious incident on a bus in Delhi in 2012 that proved fatal – has fueled worldwide concern about the issue and helped spur the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to reach consensus, after long delay, on policies toward the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls
It’s heartening to know that not all of India’s women are taking these outrages lying down. In fact, there’s a popular movement in rural Bundelkhand that boasts 150,000 members: women dressed in hot-pink saris and armed with sticks, fighting rape, domestic violence and honor killings under the charismatic leadership of Sampat Pal Devi. They’re called the Gulabi Gang, and the award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker Nishtha Jain has made a highly praised documentary of the same name about the struggles of this audacious group of female vigilantes.
This Sunday, May 11 – the day after its screening at the New York India Film Festival – Gulabi Gang will be shown at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum. Nishtha Jain will be on hand for a live discussion and question-and-answer session following the 5 p.m. screening. Got a Mom who’s a real survivor? Take her to see this eye-opening film for Mothers’ Day!
Tickets cost $10 general admission, $7 for members. To find out more about this event at WAAM, visit www.woodstockart.org/documentary-film. To watch the official trailer for Nishtha Jain’s Gulabi Gang, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av39YJTnMM8.