‘Nirbashito’ is the most important film to come out of India in recent memory.
That is a fact.
The film draws on the real-life of Taslima Nasrin, the Bangladeshi feminist and author, hounded into exile, first from her native Bangladesh and then from India.
‘Nirbashito’, Bengali actress Churni Ganguly’s feature directorial debut and in which she stars, is relevant for a number of different reasons, not least of which is the question of freedom in India and South Asia in general: the freedom to speak, to love and to choose.
The film sits like a beautiful mirage in a parched landscape dotted with issues ranging from Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which outlaws homosexuality through Section 66A of the IT Act to the recent blocking of hundreds of porn sites.
But Ganguly’s greatest triumph, both as a filmmaker and actress, is her ability to tell the very personal story of suffering endured not only by Nasrin but countless others who have paid the price of exile for choosing freedom.
London-based Bengali writer and filmmaker Sangeeta Datta finds out more.