When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.
As with her other work (Pink Saris, Rough Aunties), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience, and Longinotto follows her on an eye-opening trip back to her village. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly. - K. Y.
About the Director
Kim Longinotto studied at the National Film School in London. For more than two decades, she has been making films that explore issues relevant to women in such diverse places as Japan, Iran, Africa, and India. The Day I Will Never Forget, about Kenyan girls challenging female circumcision, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Sisters in Law, set in Cameroon, won the C.I.C.A.E. Award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Rough Aunties, about a group of brave women in South Africa, won the documentary Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.
Cast and Credits
Director: Kim Longinotto
Screenwriter: Ollie Huddleston
Executive Producers: Hamish Mykura, Anna Miralis
Editor: Ollie Huddleston
Composer: Samuel Sim
Sound Recordist: Sara Lima
Producer, Cinematographer: Kim Longinotto
Interpreter, Associate Producer: Samyuktha PC
Contact: Kristen Fitzpatrick / Women Make Movies / email@example.com / 212-925-0606
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