British filmmaker Leslie Udwin’s documentary on the horrific December 2012 gang-rape in Delhi was blocked from broadcast in India with a court order but now Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta is working to premiere it at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.
“Anatomy Of Violence” will be screen in the Masters section of the festival. In a statement announcing the programming of the film, TIFF described it as a “devastating fictional dramatisation of the lives of the rapists.”
“‘What makes monsters?’ is a question that this film stares directly at. It probes and explores where these young men could have come from and what might have motivated them. They have been called ‘monsters’ but is this a simplistic labelling that relieves society and leaders from the responsibility of looking more deeply?” the filmmakers said.
The film is an attempt to “imagine what might have driven these men towards such a savage assault. The film also imagines the nature of the young woman’s life, her family, her friends and her hopes and dreams before the fatal attack,” they said. The 93-minute feature in Hindi “mixes fiction and fact in an improvised exploration of the events leading up to, and following” the atrocity that shook India and the world.
The film has a cast that includes Indian actress Seema Biswas, Indo-Canadian actress Tia Bhatia and Indian actor Vansh Bhardwaj, who was seen in “Udta Punjab”. Coincidentally, this year’s edition of TIFF features the world premiere of a documentary by Deepa Mehta’s brother Dilip: “Mostly Sunny”. The subject is Canadian porn star-turned-Bollywood actress Sunny Leone.
TIFF noted that the documentary “asks what makes Sunny tick, and explores the birthplace of the Kama Sutra’s paradoxical relationship with sex”. Dilip Mehta was elated that, for the first time, both siblings have a film premiering at the same festival.
His sister has been a regular and honoured participant at TIFF. Her feature, “Beeba Boys”, premiered at TIFF last year and examined the phenomenon of Indo-Canadian gangs in Vancouver and its suburbs. Her adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” was similarly showcased at TIFF. – CINEWS