Indian government officials may have attempted to silence Leslee Udwin’s “India’s Daughter,” but since their ban on its distribution in India, it has stirred conversations across the globe and its message continues to speak volumes. And on April 13, it will be making ripples at Elon.
The controversial BBC Storyville documentary, which recounts the brutal December 2012 ‘bus gang rape’ that resulted in the death of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh and ultimately fueled national uproar, will be screened at 7 p.m. April 13 in the Global Commons Media Room.
The 62-minute film, which was released in 2014, will be followed by a discussion on its underlying themes and messages.
The work, which includes footage from some of the rapists involved with the incident, examines society’s response to rape as a global phenomena.
Amy Allocco, assistant professor of religious studies, sought the opportunity to bring the documentary to campus after numerous students who were on her study abroad program in India asked about the possibility of a screening.
Once she found a copy of the film with screening rights available, she reached out to the students and they responded with enthusiasm.
Allocco, a scholar of gender in South Asian religions with 20 years of research experience in India, said she has been closely following the international news coverage on India’s daughter with real interest.
“It is a complicated and difficult film on several levels, but I see a number of ways in which the film’s focus on gender, sexuality, violence, feminism, and globalization resonates with issues that many of us teach and care deeply about,” she said.
Allocco added that the film also intersects with conversations surrounding sexual assault and rape culture on our own campus and on college campuses throughout the United States.
Ameya Benegal, an Elon junior from India and Singapore, said he encourages students planning on attending to conduct research to contextualize the documentary in order to form a more holistic opinion about it.
“It’s not an easy film to watch but it is important,” he said. “Personally, I think it takes a very Western stance on the issue.”
The film purchase was funded by Belk Library and Joan Ruelle, university librarian.
The screening is open to the public.