Indian Short Film "Speak Out" Takes on Violence Against Women In a Powerful Way

It is one of the great and tragic ironies of violence against women that the problem is so widespread but the victims feel like they are all alone. Mumbai-based filmmaker Pooja Batura Pathak brilliantly addresses this paradox and other harsh yet subtle realities in her short film titled "Bol," which means "Speak Out." The video tells women that "the more you talk, the less it will happen."

Shot in black and white and without dialogue, the film tackles child abuse, sexual harassment, marital rape, and domestic violence in only 12 minutes. It begins with a bruised woman writing in a journal, "Someone, somewhere, is going through the same what I am going through." Yet as the film shows, these sorts of problems are faced by more than "someone, somewhere." The film's focus shifts from one woman to another as the characters pass each other while going about their lives, giving the unshakable impression that this kind of violence is, in fact, going on everywhere, that women face it throughout their lives, and that iy is a cycle that just goes on and on in silence. This especially true in Pathak's country, where instance after instance after instance of violence against women makes speaking out especially crucial.

It's a hard watch but well worth it.