VISAFF: Documentary a refreshing portrait of urban Indian women (w/gallery)

Published: October 23, 2013
sapna

Celebrity hairstylist and clothing designer Sapna Bavnani

GLEN SCHAEFER
THE PROVINCE

The feature documentary Scattered Windows, Connected Doors (3:30 p.m. Saturday), a profile of eight iconoclastic Indian women, finds at least eight different ways of shattering stereotypes about urban life in India.

Pushing boundaries is the one common thread among the women profiled by directors Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar.

Shabnam Virmani is a singer, filmmaker and scholar of the mystic poet Kabir. Photographer Anusha Yadar has turned her lens on celebrities and everyday people alike, and tells how she points her camera back back at herself as therapy — that inward gaze perhaps the one common link between these two.

Corporate executive Rekha Mehrotra Menon earned an MBA and started her career at a car company, the first woman to work at a factory of 3,000 men. She laughs that they didn’t even have a women’s washroom when she joined. She’s matter of fact about juggling a career with her other role as the mother of two now-grown children, saying she always took time away for herself from both of those roles.

Shilo Shir Suleman is a free-spirited twentysomething, a painter, animator and author of children’s books, who talks about how travel has always fed her creativity.

Meanwhile, advertising creative director Swati Bhattacharya tells how she never moved out of her zip code in a life of school, marriage, work and family. (Her Che Guevara coffee cup suggests a mind that has nonetheless wandered far afield).

Preeti Shenoy says she never thought she would be happy with a life centred on family and children, but she was — until she started blogging about the loss of her father and found herself with a career as a best-selling, internationally-published author and poet. She tells of being scrummed by reporters at an event as her husband and children looked on proudly. “The Internet changed my life,” she says.

Vidya Pai is a shop-owner and LBGT activist, with an easygoing manner. “The mere mention of sexuality (in India) gets people’s panties in a bunch,” she says. That doesn’t stop her.

Similarly unstoppable is celebrity hairstylist and clothing designer Sapna Bavnani, who talks about how her teenage love for boys on motorcycles was a problem for her conservative family.

“I decided that anything Indian, or what an Indian woman is supposed to look like, I’m going to do the opposite,” the heavily tattooed stylist says.

The film screens as part of a day-long program of female-themed films, but both men and women can find something in these eight distinct stories — eight singular career paths — which combine for a mosaic portrait of urban Indian society so refreshing that one never notices that not a single male voice is heard.

gschaefer@theprovince.com


Anusha


Picture 1 of 8


Tags: , , ,





Featured

CIVIC ELECTIONS

A new mayor is coming to Surrey, but don’t forget about councillors

SFU prof stresses importance of electing councillors who will push for the Surrey you want AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — With incumbent Mayor Dianne…
Continue Reading »

img_3338

Salaam Bombay: Gluten free Indian cuisine

SAMANTHA MCLEOD THE PROVINCE  Salam Bombay: Salaam to the classiest and cleanest side of Bombay, right here in Vancouver! You know when you’re watching an Indian movie…
Continue Reading »

CBC-sexual behaviour-lawsuit

Jian Ghomeshi bails on Prince George appearance on Nov. 7

THE CANADIAN PRESS PRINCE GEORGE — Embattled former “Q” radio host Jian Ghomeshi has pulled out of a speaking engagement organized by the Prince George…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CIVIC ELECTIONS

A new mayor is coming to Surrey, but don’t forget about councillors

SFU prof stresses importance of electing councillors who will push for the Surrey you want AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — With incumbent Mayor Dianne…
Continue Reading »

health check

Parents of six-year-old girl ‘horrified’ after botched vaccination exposes her to HIV

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old girl is in danger of having contacted HIV after a routine vaccination went awry in Fort St. James earlier…
Continue Reading »

img_3338

Salaam Bombay: Gluten free Indian cuisine

SAMANTHA MCLEOD THE PROVINCE  Salam Bombay: Salaam to the classiest and cleanest side of Bombay, right here in Vancouver! You know when you’re watching an Indian movie…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

health check

Parents of six-year-old girl ‘horrified’ after botched vaccination exposes her to HIV

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old girl is in danger of having contacted HIV after a routine vaccination went awry in Fort St. James earlier…
Continue Reading »

ghost marriage

11 held for digging women’s graves for ‘ghost marriages’

IANS/EFE Beijing – Chinese police have arrested 11 people for allegedly digging up dead women’s bodies from their graves to sell them for rituals known…
Continue Reading »

Jian Ghomeshi

‘Big Ears Teddy’ Twitter account posted Jian Ghomeshi abuse allegations six months ago

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM In less than a week, Jian Ghomeshi has gone from one of the most well-known and beloved CBC personalities to an…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Battleground Surrey: Which mayoral candidate can stop the carnage?

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI The streets leading to the Newton Arena are littered with debris from the previous night’s storm. Overflow from the downpour swiftly…
Continue Reading »

Smart 21 communities

Surrey named among World’s Smart21 Communities of 2015

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. – The Intelligent Community Forum has named the City of Surrey as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. As one…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood movie Fireflies

Fireflies: Sincerely done; good looking film

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Fireflies”; Cast: Rahul Khanna, Arjun Mathur, Monica Dogra, Shivani Ghai, Aadya Bedi; Writer-Director: Sabal Singh Shekhawat; Rating: *** 1/2 Things…
Continue Reading »

Ismaili musicians - Aga Khan foundation

Salim-Sulaiman show underlines Vancouver’s rising Bollywood cachet

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI With big-time Bollywood composers Salim-Sulaiman set to kick off their North American tour at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday, it…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan

Burdwan blast: Shah Rukh Khan prays for better times for Bengal

IANS Kolkata – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, West Bengal’s brand ambassador, Wednesday expressed his unwillingness to talk about the terror blast in Burdwan, but…
Continue Reading »