It must be an absolute nightmare for teenagers growing up in a world of social media, Snapchat, Tinder and Grindr. Everything we do or say nowadays can be instantly captured and uploaded. Dating agencies and ads in the paper have been replaced by swiping right and Instagram filters. Imagine the complication of adding family into the equation. In India, tradition is merging with the modern world. Times change but so much stays the same.
The filmmakers behind A Suitable Girl (Sarita Khurana, Smriti Mundhra and Jennifer Tiexiera) spent four years documenting the trials and tribulations of three women (Dipti, Amrita, and Ritu) as they search for a husband. Arranged marriages are often confused with forced marriages in the Western world. Whilst there’s still the pressure within Indian society for women to get married, the choice is more often than not in their own hands.
A Suitable Girl is a fascinating documentary which illustrates just how complicated the process of marriage is for women in India. Unless you come from that background, there are so many factors involved that you’re likely to be oblivious to. Shot in a verité style, we’re drawn into their predicament; allowing a glimpse into (what feels like) a hidden world. It’s difficult to understand a community which seems so alien, but A Suitable Girl does a great job of placing the viewer into the lives of three remarkable women.
A Suitable Girl is screening at Bertha DocHouse from 23 February.