Actor-fillmmaker Nandita Das has impressed one and all with her latest outing - a short film on domestic violence. Amitabh Bachchan also shared the short film, urging everyone to watch it. Titled Listen To Her, the short film highlights the plight of women facing domestic violence amid lockdown even as it stresses on the ways in which gender inequality is normalised. The film is also supported by UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the South Asia Foundation (Madanjeet Singh Foundation).
Watch the short film "Listen to Her" here
The short film opens with Nandita working on a laptop in her house. She keeps switching between her roles of a mother, housekeeper and a professional as she multitasks with her child playing in the same hall where she attends a meeting on video conference and has her husband sitting in another room. The husband's only appearance in the video is to make demands -- we only listen to his voice as he asks for some black coffee, orders her to answer the door and the likes.
Nandita is addressing queries during her office meeting when she gets a wrong number call from a woman in distress. As she tries to help the woman, the film subtly establishes that Nandita is normalising gender inequality.
Sharing the video, Nandita wrote, "Listen to Her. Thank you for the overwhelming response. Glad so many of you are sharing the film. I am not tech savvy but I am told I should put the video on IGTV. Here it is! Also sorry, the comment button was off on YouTube. Would love to know your thoughts, so do share. #ListentoHer #domesticviolence #unwomen #unesco #unfpa #unicef #southasiafoundation #nanditadas #ncw."
Fans lapped up the film and liked it online, triggering a much-needed debate. One fan even wrote, "I wanted to slap your character for letting her husband boss around. Domestic abuse need not be physical always. Here there are two narratives running parallel- one visually and one through voices. Brilliantly executed.A powerful message put across subtly with that "you open". Kudos to the team." Another one wrote, "Wrong upbringing of male children results in such misogynistic behavior. Overload it with self loathing/inferiority complex/monetary frustrations or any such excuses & the result is such mindless violence/wife bashing. Very well made short clip on the subject & provides helplines too."
Sharing the film on his Twitter page, Amitabh wrote, "Nandita Das, colleague, friend .. writes, directs, & produces a short film of 7 min .." LISTEN TO HER ".. Giving meaning to what 'stay home stay safe' means to women .. All good wishes ..SO .. 'listen to her' !!"
About the film, Nandita had earlier tweeted, "At 12 noon I'll share with you a 7min film called #ListentoHer that I wrote, directed, acted & produced during the lockdown. Was an impulsive response. Pls do see."