There has never been a more dangerous time, in modern history, to be a journalist. Whilst the profession has been traditionally afforded protection and immunity, in many areas of the world being a reporter now puts a target on your back. Making you ripe for kidnap, imprisonment or much worse. Governments has begun to restrict and punish those who are simply doing their job and trying to report the truth. There are an estimated 274 journalists in prison around the world. India is one of the worst culprits.
the traditional caste system still holds sway in India. There are four main groups (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras) and historically you’re born into, marry and die within your strata. Then there’s a large underclass beneath that. These include the Dalit. To be ‘untouchable’ and female is to be subject to myriad daily persecutions. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s new film, Writing with Fire, follows a group of brave women who defied convention and started their own newspaper.
Writing with Fire follows chief reporter Meera and her team as they transition from print to digital. We join them on their journey, hindered by misogynistic attitude, caste prejudice, lack of a formal education and limited access to technology. Every day these women have to negotiate multiple barriers, both at home and in wider society, in order to simply do their job. Writing with Fire is a testament to the courage and determination of a band of sisters who simply refuse to be silenced.
Writing with Fire screens at Sundance Film Festival.