Give HER A Chance
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04 May 2010
By Vishakha Avachat
Jananee, a short film on female foeticide will be screened at the Cannes film festival in the short film corner category
A Marathi short film, titled Jananee, based on the burning issue of female foeticide will be screened at the upcoming Cannes film festival on May 15. The film was earlier screened at the International Film Festival of India in Goa and at a film festival in Iran. “Jananee is not only about how the society is not comfortable having a girl child, but also about how the preference of a son has led to the exploitation of the men in society financially,” says the director Rima Amrapurkar. She says that female foeticide is not only rampant in rural areas but in urban areas as well. Jananee portrays a debt–ridden farmer staying in a remote village in Maharashtra, who has a daughter and wishes to have a son when his wife is pregnant the second time. But when they come to know that she would be delivering a girl this time, too, they decide on aborting the child. “The farmer is already under a huge debt and to get the child aborted, he has to sell off his sole possession–his house,” says Amprapurkar.
“It is good that we hold on to our old values and customs, but an excess of anything is not good. The unnecessary insistence on having a son leads to a lot of trouble in the protagonist’s family,” she adds. The director adds that the film brings out the harsh reality of female foeticide in front of the audience and makes them think over it.
The 25–minute long film has actors from the rural areas of Maharashtra. The farmer husband and wife duo are from Jalgaon, and the other actors hail from Ahmednagar and Sangli. When asked the reason behind choosing actors from a rural background, and who don’t have a formal training in acting, Amrapurkar says, “When you have established actors in a film, the focus shifts from the issue to their acting. I wanted the audiences to focus on the female foeticide issue and hence I chose actors who could bring the issue to life.”