The victim's story made headlines and incited protests across India about rape and the treatment of women. Udwin's film also made headlines: It was to air on Indian television but was banned because officials said they feared it would cause more civil unrest. If the contours of this story are well known from news accounts, Udwin adds some chilling images, especially the interviews with Singh and with his lawyers, who parrot similar ideas about appropriate conduct for young Indian women. ("Kissing from the mouth is bad," one says.)
The tale that Udwin, a British filmmaker, tells is the one that captured the Indian imagination and made the victim's case a sensation: an aspirational young woman, modern and educated - she was a medical student; her parents sold their ancestral lands to pay for her schooling - cut down by men whose attitudes about women seem to come from a different world. At the end of her film, Udwin reminds us of the obvious - violence against women is not merely an Indian problem. But "India's Daughter" is a portrait of a place and time. And for all of its horrors, the movie has a positive message, too: Out of tragedy - and this case is just one of many - can come galvanizing change.
"India's Daughter" is not rated. English and Hindi with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour, 3 minutes.
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