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The Books We Made review: Kali for Women gets its worthy place in the history of feminism

Filmmakers Anupama Chandra and Uma Tanuku take us through the journey of the feminist publication formed during the women’s rights movements of the 1980s.

Anupama Chandra and Uma Tanuku take us through the journey of the significant contributors to the feminist movement in India in the 1980s and 1990s — Kali for Women, the publication house founded by Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon.

The Public Service Broadcasting Trust production explores the feminist publication house’s inception in 1984, its landmark books and their authors, challenges and its closure in 2003.

The documentary opens with Butalia’s room, which is overflowing with books. “I always keep books by women… always,” she says, while explaining how she decides which books to keep and which ones to let go. Images of books invariably appear throughout the film, sometimes tucked away neatly in a shelf and at times in the hands of the authors as they read lines from their own works.

The story of inception in black and white footage; the founders’ interviews generating nostalgia as they reveal their humble beginnings in a garage, the designing of the logo by Chandralekha, a dancer, and the lack of profits through most of the years.

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Satyajit Ray wrote script for documentary on Ravi Shankar: Book

Master director Satyajit Ray wrote a script for a documentary on sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar but failed to make the film for reasons even his son Sandip does not know, says a new book on the subject.

Ravi Shankar: An Unfilmed Visual Script (Harper Collins) is about a documentary film Ray had planned to make, prepared its visual script (storyboard) and even titled it “A Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar” but could not shoot it. Why? No one knows, not even his family members including filmmaker-son Sandip Ray. Continue reading


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Amit Virmani: Audiences need something to keep them engaged

Virmani_ASingapore-based filmmaker Amit Virmani’s debut, “Cowboys in Paradise”, was one of the most talked-about Asian documentaries in recent years. The controversial film on sex tourism in Bali (Indonesia) garnered international acclaim and has been broadcast in over 110 countries.

His second documentary feature film, “Menstrual Man” (2013), is already making waves. The film documents the struggles of India’s Muruganantham, a school dropout who realised that the majority of women in India couldn’t afford sanitary pads and decided to do something about it. A Netflix audience favourite at Hot Docs 2013, the film underscores the importance of empowering women to combat poverty and highlights the power every individual has to make a difference.

Amit is a graduate of Southwestern University, Texas, where he was honored with the Feminist Voices Award.

Kitaab presents an interview with this talented Asian filmmaker on the art of documentary filmmaking.

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