Swaraj (The Little Republic)
DIRECTED BY - Anwar Jamal
The film is about a small village community in Rajasthan, India, where not only the low castes but even the women have little say in the affairs of the village. Four strong-willed women come forward through the democratically elected panchayats (village councils) to change the way their lives are run by the patriarchs of the community. It is a microcosm of democratic process, a parable for the world today.
GENRES - drama
RUNTIME - 90 minutes
RATING - Not Rated
YEAR - 2002
"The film depicts ground realities of village life in India where a deep-rooted gender and caste bias still rears its ugly head amidst technological advances and globalization. Director Anwar Jamal has sensitively portrayed the trial and tribulations of women from lower caste and their struggle for survival in face of severe hardship and despair.
It's a rare occurrence in Indian cinema that a film directed by a man is able to convey the deeper sensitivities of women without being patronizing. By the time one comes out of the experience of watching this film one fully identifies with the joy and pain of these four women irrespective of our own gender, class or national identities. There, I think, lies the true success of the film and its universal appeal.