A short film titled ‘Baari’ in Punjabi meaning ‘the window’ is all set to take the problems of farmer suicides and drug addiction in Punjab to Spain.
With real life farmers and locals from village Changaliwala of Lehragaga in district Sangrur playing different roles, the film made by an independent filmmaker Jatinder Preet from Ludhiana has been selected for screening at Imagine India Film Festival in Madrid, Spain.
Earlier on April 16 this year, the 24-minute movie highlighting the plight of the widows left behind by farmers who commit suicide after getting buried under debt premiered at International Film Festival, South Asia in Canada. Hardarshan Singh, a farmer from village and Raj Dhaliwal have played the lead roles.
Speaking to Indian Express, Jatinder Preet said that ‘film is inspired from the real life stories of farmers in Punjab especially Sangrur where farmers’ suicides is a common phenomenon.’
“There was a reason to choose the real life farmers as actors in films because no one can tell their story in a better way. They needed no dialogues or scripts to convey their distress. It all came out naturally and ‘Baari’ was chosen as title as film is a window to the problems of women which they face after their husbands commit suicide. The film has been shot in Sangrur with limited resources,” said Jatinder Preet.
The film is based on just one night which says the plight of the widow who has been remarried to her brother in law after her farmer husband committed suicide. It is night and the protagonist of the film, an unnamed woman, is unable to sleep. She recounts her recent past from the time she had come to that house as a newly wedded bride to the time her husband committed suicide soon thereafter. Pregnant then, she was not asked for her choice when she was married off to her husband’s elder brother, a cripple, citing family honour. A drug addict, he too failed to cope with the newfound responsibility of family and mounting debts and ended his life.
Now, she is the one left to look after the rest of the family comprising of a young daughter and infirm father-in-law.
Standing before the window (Baari) she watches one of the village women being dropped off from a car on the other end of the street. The villagers are already talking about other women in the village who have started going to town.
Spending the whole night awake, she finally arrives at a decision. As another day comes up she steps out of her home. “We have shown that a woman takes a decision to move out to the city and work despite villagers talking bad about such women. But she has no choice,” says Preet.