Pink Saris

Kim Longinotto
England, India 2010 | 96 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU

In the north­ern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Sampat Pal Devi fights against forced mar­riage, vio­lence against women, and the humil­i­a­tion faced by the untouch­ables. The ener­getic Sampat, who con­trary to tra­di­tion­al roles is respect­ed at all times wher­ev­er she goes, faced vio­lence and oppres­sion her­self when she was mar­ried off at the age of eight. Since then she has been eman­ci­pat­ed from her family and is now the leader of the so called Gulabi Gang, a fem­i­nist vig­i­lante group of sorts that wears pink saris and helps other oppressed girls and women. Among them Rekha, a 14 year old untouch­able who is three months preg­nant, yet unable to marry the father of her child because he belongs to anoth­er caste. Or 15 year old Renu, who speaks of throw­ing her­self in front of a train because her hus­band from an arranged mar­riage has left her and her father-in-law has raped her. 

Kim Longinot­to’s inge­nious artistry lies in an ele­gant abil­i­ty to estab­lish trust with sub­jects and a deep sen­si­tiv­i­ty to their cul­tur­al con­texts, yield­ing an alchem­i­cal inti­ma­cy in which sub­tleties and com­plex­i­ties are allowed to sur­face and unfold to breath-taking effect. (Sun­dance Film Festival)