India’s Daughter – Interview with Director Leslee Udwin

This film pays tribute to the remarkable short life of "India's Daughter" (Jyoti) and documents the brutality of her gang-rape and murder in Delhi in December 2012. It also examines the mindset of the men who committed the rape with exclusive interviews and – perhaps most importantly – it tries to shed light on the patriarchal society and culture which not only seeds but may be said even to encourage violence against women.    From India's Daughter website.

Click through for my interview with Award-Winning producer Leslee Udwin about her powerful film debut, India's Daughter. 

India's Daughter is the impassioned documentary from award-winning producer, now director, Leslee Udwin.  The doc looks at the brutal rape and death of 23 year old medical student Jyoti Singh who survived for 13 days after the violent act against her.  Leslee's journey back to India to tell this horrifying story put her into the live of those men that had raped and caused Jyoti's death.  Easily one of the more difficult documentaries to fathom as with each interview we witness a terrible mindset by the Indian government and a majority of the male populace. 

“I’m calling on girls & women, boys & men everywhere to watch this incredible film” Freida Pinto

Leslee and I started our conversation by discussing how the Indian government has banned the documentary to be released in India. 

The bold choice to interview the rapist and their defense lawyer is something that makes this documentary so unique and profound.  Leslee talked about how this choice is the reason why she made this film.

As you heard earlier, Leslee explained that the Indian government doesn't want to hear from an Israel-British white woman about their country.  But Leslee's team wasn't a bunch of white faces and rather was a group of incredible Indian women and men.  Leslee in particularly talks about two important women in the production of this documentary, Anuradha Singh & Riddhi Jha.

Leslee and I are both Israeli born folks that live and call other places home.  It was this connection that I think allowed for this following quote from Leslee.  I asked her about the deep passion that made her use her own money to travel to India and tell this story, it's why it's her directorial debut.  This next clip is Leslee's passionate story of how her 13 year old self found a profound truth about the inequality of the world we live in and how she has devoted herself to causing change because of that 1 moment in an Israeli religious school.  Honestly this is the single most passionate quote I've ever heard and hope if anything you'll listen to her rationale for why this world NEEDS to change right now.

Leslee with Meryl Streep in NYC. 

Leslee Udwin and loyal supporter of India's Daughter, Meryl Streep

Meryl's quote about the horrible ban the Indian government put on the film.

"It breaks my heart that India, the world's largest democracy, opted to engage in the very undemocratic act of banning a film.".

India's Daughter Poster

India's Daughter begins it's theatrical run tomorrow with the release of the film at New York City's Village East Theater and opens in LA, at the Sundance Sunset Theater, next Friday October 30th. 

For more information about this important documentary please go, here

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