Film Screening – ‘Shape of Water’ by Kum-Kum Bhavnani (London,UK)

Shape of Water – Film Screening and Q&A – 22nd January

Friday 22nd Jan 6.30pm Room B36 Birkbeck Main Building
Register by emailing Julia Eisner

This film directed by first time film maker, Kum-Kum Bhavnani and narrated by Susan Sarandon, offers an intimate encounter with five very different women in Brazil, India, Jerusalem, and Senegal. It offers a close look at the far-reaching and vibrant alternatives crafted by the women in response to environmental degradation, archaic traditions, lack of economic independence and war.

The documentary, filmed over 3 years and four continents weaves the life stories of Khady, Bilkusben, Oraiza, Dona Antonia, and Gila who infuse their communities with a passion for change. The women:
spearhead rainforest preservation (women working as rubber-tappers in the Brazilian rainforest);_

sustain a vast co-operative of rural women (India: SEWA: the largest trades union in the world with 700,000 members);_

promote an end to female genital cutting (FGC) (Senegal: communities abandoning FGC);
strengthen opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine (Women in Black in Jerusalem);_

maintain a farm, Navdanya (in the foothills of the Himalayas) to further economic independence and biodiversity by preserving women’s role as seed keepers.

By revealing the women’s revolutionary actions this film illustrates a unique view of the complex realities faced by these unsung visionaries creating a more just world.

The screening will be followed by a discussion between Kum-Kum Bhavnani and Gita Sahgal, Head of the Gender Unit, at Amnesty International, London._

Gita Sahgal is originally from India and now settled in England. She is a writer, broadcaster, as well as a freelance documentary film-maker, making investigative films on gender, race and multi-culturalism. She was an active member of Southall Black Sisters in the 1980s and a founder member of Women Against Fundamentalisms. Her television work for Channel 4 documentaries include ‘The Provoked Wife’ (about women who kill their husbands because of domestic violence) and ‘The War Crimes File’ (about the Bangladesh war of 1971). This last won a Royal Television Society Award. Her latest video is Love Snatched: Forced Marriage and Multiculturalism. The documentary was commissioned as part of the CIMEL/INTERIGHTS Project on ‘Honour Crimes’. Among her writings she has co-edited, with Nira Yuval-Davis, Refusing Holy Orders : Women and Fundamentalism in Britain and contributed a commentary to Radical Philosophy, 112, March/April 2002.


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