print the article

Related articles
  1. Andrzej Wajda: a spiritual resistant in the communist world
  2. “Movie Moments of Grace” Explained at Catholic Media Conference
  3. The 100 greatest films of the 21st Century
  4. Maren Ade’s "Toni Erdmann" Wins FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2016
  5. Indian nun writes script for Malayalam cinema
  6. St Peter’s and the Papal Basilicas of Rome 3D: An amazing film production
  7. 80th anniversary of Vigilanti Cura and OCIC
  8. "Ignacio de Loyola" advanced screening in the Vatican
  9. Catholics and cinema in Italy: An international perspective
  10. Documentary Filmmaking Practices in Africa : an International Conference
  11. Mombasa Archbishop applauds the role of film-makers in educating society.
  12. The 12th Asian Women’s Film Festival
  13. New production company to tackle Hollywood gender gap
  14. Spotlight is not an anti-catholic film
  15. The Oscars 2016: addressing important issues
  16. New documentary on life of Sr Dorothy Stang
  17. Marathi Jesus of Nazareth Online
  18. Leela Santhosh, a tribal woman film director
  19. Frames of poverty and social class inequality in children’s movies
  20. In 2015 more spectators in Europe’s cinemas
  21. Call for papers for the conference "Catholics and cinema in Italy between the 40s and the 70s "
  22. ‘Pope won’t ‘play himself’ in upcoming film
  23. Ave Maria - Palestinian short film nominated for Oscar
  24. SIGNIS Sri Lanka film appreciation seminar
  25. Documentary film: ’All You Need Is Love’
  26. Video takes Laudato Si’ to the people
  27. Film on displaced tribal people named ’Best Film’
  28. SIGNIS statement - Spotlight
  29. SIGNIS Statement on The Letters
  30. The LAFF launches a new african film student competition
  31. Rome’s homeless form audience for Vatican premiere of film about Pope Francis
  32. Indian film and its role in promoting a culture of peace
  33. American Bishop on Spotlight: praise for the media
  34. Latest James Bond film confronted with the Indian censor
  35. Interview with David Oelhoffen, director of Far From Men
  36. “Joy and hope, grief and anxiety”: a short film project of the German Bishops’ Conference.
  37. World Toilet Day: the importance of promoting sanitation via films
  38. “Fr. Gaetano Nicosia. The Angel of the Lepers”. A documentary movie
  39. ’India’s Daughter’ brings gender inequality, violence against women into sharp focus
  40. 24 writers and filmmakers return national awards
  41. Young CAFOD supporters show their climate change films to MPs
  42. Georges Khabbaz’ new film ‘Waynon’ to represent Lebanon at the Oscars
  43. Stations of the Cross chosen for the Italian Critics’ Award
  44. Are horror films C(c)atholic?
  45. Muhammad: The Messenger of God on Iranian cinema screens
  46. Insight Student Filmmaker Award 2015
  47. The south-Korean cinema - Office by Hong Won-Chan
  48. Participate in the Showing Film Award’s V Edition
  49. "Healing" Named ‘Australian Film of the Year’ by the Catholic Film Office
  50. "The Vatican Museums 3D": Experience the Greatest Art Collection in History
  51. "The Railway Man" Named ‘Film of the Year’ by the Australian Catholic Film Office
  52. The Iñigo Film Festival Awards Short Films at WYD Rio 2013
  53. SIGNIS Co-Sponsor of International Conference on Jesus Films in Poland
  54. SIGNIS Workshop Trains a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  55. Ken Loach Receives the Robert Bresson Award 2012
  56. SIGNIS Workshop for a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  57. Cinema, Religion and Politics in the Air
  58. New Egyptian Cinema: the Presence of Religion
  59. Exchanging One Habit for Another: "A Nun’s New Habit" Screened at Cahayasuara
  60. Angelus Winner Nominated For Academy Award
  61. A New Generation of Filipino Filmmakers: Mark Meily Awarded at the Brussels Independent Film Festival
  62. Faith Shorts
  63. "Samson & Delilah" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2009
  64. Priests Honoured at 56th Indian National Film Awards
  65. SIGNIS Award Winning Film Chosen as Best Film in Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009
  66. "Yarwng", a Salesian Priest’s Award Winning Film
  67. The Face of the Other (Den Andres Ansikt) in Oslo
  68. Angelus Announces 2009 Festival Winners
  69. Religion and Film in Armenia (1911-2009): From the Arrival of Cinema to the Establishment of the Ecumenical Jury
  70. Images of the Afterlife in Theology and Film
  71. "Slumdog Millionnaire" - A Brief Note
  72. H2Onews: Vatican Applause for “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar
  73. "The Black Balloon" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2008
  74. Film Workshop "Cinema: Going Beyond the Barriers" in Prague
  75. First SIGNIS East Asia Film Seminar 2008: "Depiction of Core Family Values in East Asian Movies"
  76. Classic Film about the Life and Work of St Vincent de Paul Re-released
  77. Meeting Daniel Burman
  78. The Bresson Prize for Daniel Burman
  79. The Life of St.Thomas on Celluloid soon in India
  80. Egoyan’s "Adoration" Wins Ecumenical Prize in Cannes 2008
  81. SIGNIS Film Seminar to Give a “Face for the Faceless”
  82. Australian Catholic Film Office Names "The Jammed" Best Film of 2007
  83. Ken Loach to Speak at Homeless Movie Club in London
  84. ’Evening of Angelus’ returns to Sundance Film Festival
  85. Church and Film: 90 Years of History in Brazil
  86. Peacemaking in the World of Film
  87. "Ten Canoes" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2006
  88. Interreligious Screening of "Bamako" in the UK
  89. Alter-Ciné Foundation Documentary Film Grants 2007
  90. U.S. Bishops Choose Top 10 Films for 2006
  91. "Grbavica" Wins John Templeton Award 2006
  92. Vatican to Host World Premiere of "The Nativity Story"
  93. SIGNIS-Romania’s “Facing Children”: a Film Festival for Child Rights
  94. Angelus Student Film Festival selects 26 finalists
  95. Indian Catholic church makes Bollywood film on AIDS
  96. ’Evening of Angelus’ draws 400 people in Sundance
  97. Look Both Ways named Australian Film of the Year by Australian Catholic Film Office
  98. US Bishops’ Film Office Chooses Top 10 Films of 2005
  99. ’L’enfant’ Wins 2005 Templeton European Film of the Year Award

’India’s Daughter’ brings gender inequality, violence against women into sharp focus

California, Brussels, November 18th, 2015 (SIGNIS/Rose Pacatte/National Catholic Reporter). Jyoti Singh was a 23-year old medical student in Delhi, India, who went out to see "The Life of Pi" with a young male friend on the evening of Dec. 16, 2012. On the way home, around 8 p.m., they got on a private bus as people do in Delhi. But on that bus were five men and one 17-year old male who gang-raped Jyoti for over an hour as the bus kept going. They assaulted her so severely that there really was no hope of survival. Her friend was beaten; both were tossed naked from the bus and left to die.

After others stopped to look and move on, a man heard their cries and called for help. Jyoti’s parents are poor, and they sold everything they had so she could become a doctor and open a clinic in their ancestral village. They came immediately. Jyoti was flown to Singapore in hope of treating her extreme condition but two weeks after the attack, she died from her injuries.

Jyoti had so wanted to become a doctor that she asked her father for the money he had saved for her wedding. Even then, she had to work two jobs to pay her school fees. She had just graduated and was raped the night before she was to begin her six-month internship.

JPEG - 14.2 kb
Scene from "India’s Daughter," showing women protesting rape culture in India and being sprayed by waterhoses wielded by the authorities. (Leslee Udwin)

This rape in Delhi, which is already known as India’s rape capitol, sparked student protests that were met by police with water cannons and spraying tear gas. Women and men had had enough of India’s archaic patriarchal culture that allowed men to mistreat any woman they believed were upsetting the accepted norm of female behavior. Whether their efforts will effect long-term change is still to be determined.

Filmmaker Leslee Udwin, who made " India’s Daughter ," says:
If anything positive can be said to have come out of the horror of this event, it is the awakening among women and men alike in India and the world to the issue of violence against women. This particular event has been a huge turning point. We hope the film will spark a persuasive plea for change and the establishment of a new norm of freedom and respect for women the world over. Gender inequality, the disease of which the offenses against women are the symptoms, is a global issue.

The most telling and horrifying aspect of the film to Rose Pacatte, beyond the description of what these men did to Jyoti, is the shared attitude of the perpetrators and their defense lawyers about their control over women. They are convinced that women belong in their place in the home, whether hovel or house, and when they cross that boundary it’s open season for any male to abuse and assault them. The bus driver, Mukesh Singh, is interviewed extensively and at the end of the film and says that before when a woman was raped, she would be left alive because she would be too shamed to talk. Now all that will happen is that she will be raped and killed.

Rose Pacatte adds : "I don’t think I am overstating it, but the explicit pro-rape attitudes of the perpetrators and their attorneys are not unlike the attitudes underlying how women are treated in the U.S. when they report being raped."

Documentaries that prove this are films such as "The Invisible War" about rape in the military and Congress’ unwillingness to legislate for justice and "It Happened Here" about rape on college campuses and the school’s unwillingness to prosecute.

Author Jon Krakauer’s Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town published earlier this year, "illuminates the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape." It’s a very tough, frustrating read because justice is hard won, if at all.

"India’s Daughter" is the daughter, mother, sister, niece, and grandmother of India and of every country in the world where gender inequality that allows rape and violence toward women is the norm that is, everywhere.


print the article