New movie will make "every rapist shiver with fear"
Film focuses on notorious New Delhi gang rape and murder
While India does some soul searching following a string of high profile sex attacks, two men are putting the finishing touches to a movie which they say will make “every rapist shiver with fear” ahead of its December release.
Director Sanjay Chhel's movie Kill The Rapist? is inspired by the rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi last December with the movie slated for release on the first anniversary of the attack which created an uproar in India and lurid headlines overseas.
This movie "is a tribute to the victim but it’s not about her,” Chhel told ucanews.com.
Its Facebook page could not be clearer about the film’s intentions.
"We want every rapist to shiver with fear before even thinking of rape, after this movie,” it reads.
Chhel said he aims to portray the psyche of the victim of sex attacks.
"I’ve tried to show how victims suffer, how society reacts with victims post-rape and how life is for the victim. We must remember India as a society is not very supportive and is very judgmental,” he said.
Still, Chhel remains uncertain of the impact of the “shoestring budget” movie.
"But I would be happy if this film prevents even one person from raping someone… if this happens I’ve done my bit,” he said.
The movie, with its cast of two girls and one man, revolves around a career minded woman in New Delhi who is being stalked. The police fail to help her, even after a rape attempt, but when the would-be rapist makes a second attempt, she manages to capture him.
Producer Siddhartha Jain said "a movie is the best way to amplify a debate" in the country.
Soon after the Delhi incident last year, Jain and friends created a Facebook group called ‘Kill the rapist,' then he and friend Chhel discussed the idea to do a film.
“We put a question mark in the title of the film to raise the question about what society should do with rapists. I wanted a powerful title and not a subtle one. We need to take a stand,” Jain said.
He noted that despite the uproar following the New Delhi attack, sex crimes against women have continued across India where statistics show that at least 65 women are raped every day.
“The attitude of men needs to change. Sometimes criminals manipulate the law to their advantage," Jain said, adding that his film is aimed at "bringing to light the legal loopholes that make it difficult for the victim to get justice."
Audrey D’mello of Majlis Legal Center, a forum for women's rights and legal initiatives based in Mumbai, stressed that rape victims need much better help in India.
Convictions of rapists "by itself means nothing unless victims get social support. Then only will she feel empowered to go ahead with the case," she said. “A lot needs to be done on implementation now that we have sufficient laws. Our main focus should be dignity for the victim."
While organizations like Majlis are doing their bit to fight for those who suffer rape, individuals like Jain are looking to do more to help victims financially.
“I’m planning to start a foundation as I realize that this is a cause that needs to continue and we must not stop with the film,” he said. “I [had a] thought that most of the profits of the film would go to the foundation and this will help me run it.”
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