Television Project 2012: The Sari Soldiers
“A fragile democracy is strengthened by expressing for all to see the deep dramas and sorrows and hopes that underlie its existence and that it is not by hiding the damage we have inflicted on ourselves that we will avoid its repetition.”
– Ariel Dorfman, Chile
On December 8, 2012, The Sari Soldiers, directed by Julie Bridgham, made its premiere on Nepal Television. The film and a live panel discussion among four ‘Sari Soldiers’ featured in the film were broadcast by Nepal Television in honor of International Human Rights Day. Both the film and discussion were re-broadcast on December 10, 2012 on NTV Plus.
Community groups in Nepal had been encouraged to organize screenings of the film, and engage in discussions following the television screening and panel discussion. Human Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Advocacy Forum welcomed the opportunity to raise the dialogue about human rights in Nepal, and have been supporting the project by providing speakers and other resources to participating schools.
“The project is a first for Nepal, and possibly for Asia,” said Bev Hoffman, from HRFFN. “Over 50% of the population of Nepal is under 30 years old. This is the future of the country, and this is why human rights education here is so important.” The Sari Soldiers Nepal Television Premiere was a component of HRFFN’s Shaking The Tree outreach project for schools which brings films and film-programming directly to students in Nepal.
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Also read An Evolving Story of a Struggle for Change.
About the film
2008, Nepal, 92 minutes, Nepali and English with subtitles
Filmed over three years during the most historic and pivotal time in Nepal’s modern history, The Sari Soldiers is an extraordinary story of six women’s courageous efforts to shape Nepal’s future in the midst of an escalating civil war against Maoist insurgents, and the King’s crackdown on civil liberties.
When Devi, mother of a 15-year-old girl, witnesses her niece being tortured and murdered by the Royal Nepal Army, she speaks publicly about the atrocity. The army abducts her daughter in retaliation, and Devi embarks on a three-year struggle to uncover her daughter’s fate and see justice done. The Sari Soldiers follows her and five other brave women, including Maoist Commander Kranti; Royal Nepal Army Officer Rajani; Krishna, a monarchist from a rural community who leads a rebellion against the Maoists; Mandira, a human rights lawyer; and Ram Kumari, a young student activist shaping the protests to reclaim democracy. The Sari Soldiers intimately delves into the extraordinary journey of these women on opposing sides of the conflict, through the democratic revolution that reshapes the country’s future.
The Sari Soldiers was awarded, among others, with the Nestor Almendros Prize at the 2008 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
Watch the trailer
More information about the film on the official film website.
2012: Human Rights Film Week