Movie Time Review: To Kill A Tiger
Another documentary that is making the rounds during Award season is To Kill A Tiger. It's a documentary that took about 10 years or so to complete because of the topic it was covering: a rape of a young girl that shook her village. The film which already got so many accolades coming into this year's award season that we won't be surprised if it took more. Here's the premise: Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the survivor of sexual assault. In India, where a rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent, Ranjit’s decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented. If that doesn't spook you then reading this review giving details will. Before we get into that we must say that To Kill A Tiger is a excellent documentary and a very important one at that too. The graphic nature of the film can be disturbing. Watching a young girl tell her father what happened to her on her way home from a family gathering is heartbreaking but to watch a community turn their back on the family because they want justice for their daughter is gut wrenching. That is the film in a nutshell where you see a society so old fashioned and outdated that they are willing to turn a blind eye to violence to one of their own. The film starts with the introduction to Ranjit, a farmer who lives in a small village in India with a family that includes his 13 year old daughter(she was 13 at the time of the incident she is older now) and a wife that convinces him to press charges so that the boys who did the crime serve time. However the village had other ideas and this is where things get ugly and interesting at the same time.
Even though toxic masculinity runs rampant in the film. it should be noted that women are accustomed to the behavior and condone since it been that way for generations. Director Nisha Pahuja took about ten years to craft this documentary in a way to shed light on the disturbing incidents that plagued women in India but to also show that in some parts of the world human rights are constantly being violated and ignored. Pahuja touches on several themes and keeps the audience focused with the task at hand despite each theme comes differently and sudden. Ranjit is really the focal point of the film more so than his daughter because even though she was attacked, his pride, status and livelihood was under constant pressure in the film. We thought that he was not being truthful to himself at one point but only during the film we realize that his stance is not normal in his village which makes his actions understandable. There are some memorial characters in the film like the village council who takes the side of the men who rape the girl and tries everything to avoid choosing Ranjit's side. He curses out the lawyers and the program that supports Ranjit. Knowing how unprecedented this action is, you would be surprised on how much of a struggle it was to even get the case to trial.
Without giving away the ending To Kill A Tiger is worthy of the accolades it receives and is a important film for this generation. A moving story that can inspire and change thoughts on human rights along with justice for those who voices have been quiet due to the old ways of doing things. To Kill A Tiger is produced by Notice Pictures and NFB. It is written and directed by Nisha Pahuja.