By Alan WARD


Biography - Development 2020

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • Biography, Documentary, Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Alan WARD
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • "Sisters" is a docu-fiction based on the lives and writing of Nirmala Devi and her sister Sarala Devi, the first a leading metaphysical poet, the second a leading feminist, social activist, writer, author, playwright, and first woman Member of the Orissa Parliament.
      The film is set principally in the period 1935-1955, with Indian Independence at its centre. Archive footage serves as a backdrop to key events in the sisters' lives, and that of Nirmala Devi's husband, Raibahadur Durga Das, a leading civil servant in the British Raj. The characters are seen as three key components of the Indian psyche - the spiritual, the activist-political, and the bureaucrat-leader - who together make up the conflictual but unified whole that is India.
      As a parallel to this meta-view of the dawning independence of the country, the film presents its main theme - the movements for women's freedom and independence. It reveals how each sister illustrates this in her life and writings. Dramatically different in personality and writings, the sisters project contrasting images of what freedom represents for women. The tensions and conflicts between them serve as a dramatic playing out of these different ideas. The third character, Durga Das, serves as a foil and sounding board for each woman's life, views, and writing.
      Finally, by comparing experiences with contemporary women, the film asks the question - were Nirmala and Sarala Devi, living in a feudal society, in many ways more "independent", "feminist", and "liberated" than a lot of young women today who have their economic independence, but who are still subject to serious prejudices, discrimination, and social pressures.