Kamli, My Daughter


(K. N. T. Sastry, 2006, India, Telugu with English subtitles, 72 minutes, 35mm)

The Lambada community has been part of the landscape of Hyderabad and parts of Andhra Pradesh. Dressed in their colourful attire and chunky jewelery, the Lambada women are often seen toiling as daily wage laborers in construction sites. Their shanties are usually seen close to the areas they work in. The film ‘Kamli’ portrays the grim reality of their struggle in life. It tackles the issues of female feticide, infanticide or the sale of the girl child as they are considered an ill omen within the community. It also exposes the issue of swapping of the male child – a practice fairly common in the urban areas – particularly in the hospitals. Kamli is the focal point of the tale. She is forced to sell her firstborn girl and is now faced with the predicament of her life when her newly born male child is swapped with a baby girl by staff in a government hospital.

Director’s Bio

As a renowned Indian film critic turned film director, Sastry has received a number of awards for his films, documentaries and books. He has worked with several leading Indian media organisations and has served as a FIPRESCI jury member in the International Film Festivals of Sochi (Russia) and Pusan (South Korea). He has also been on the Indian Panorama panel for five times and was Chairman of the National Awards Jury, 2004, for Best Writing on Cinema.

Sastry’s ‘Surabhi’ (2000) won him the National Award for best Documentary and his ‘Tiladaanam’ was given the New Current Award as Best Asian Film in 2002 at the Pusan International Film Festival.

(preceded by short film)

(Santana Issar, 2006, India, Hindi/English, 11 minutes, DVD)

In the piecing together of home videos shot by her parents nearly 2 decades earlier, and through a string of conversations with her father, mother, and sister, a daughter looks to understand the impact of her father’s alcoholism on each of their lives: the sister’s refusal to include him in her life; the mother’s belief that her daughters should reach out to their father despite her own refusal to see him; the father’s moment of honest introspection. In talking to them, the questions she is struggling with come to the fore: should she stand behind him, drawing only on her memories of what a wonderful father he was? Or should she move on, and build her life without him?

Director’s Bio

Santana Issar graduated in Economics from Delhi University in 2005. Thereafter, she interned with a news channel before coming upon work as an assistant director on a corporate film. The chance to direct Bare – her first film – came along a year later. Since Bare’s completion she has worked with a media action group, and is currently completing a research fellowship on animal activism.

Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, 7 PM