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Anuradha Singh, the editor of a 2015 BBC documentary on the Jyoti Singh gangrape case, had suffered a crack in her tailbone while working 20 hours a day to finish the film that was later banned. "India's Daughter", based on the life of the 23-year-old paramedic student who was brutally gangraped and died a fortnight later, also left Singh emotionally drained. It took her over two years to edit more than 100 hours of interview reels and archive material. "By the time the documentary finally took shape, I was suffering from a crack in the tailbone and heavily swollen wrists as I used to work for nearly 20 hours a day," Singh told PTI. There was a time when the cameraperson of the documentary left the project mid-way. "But just to save it from getting shelved I took up the camera," she says. Having worked in the Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Hundred-Foot Journey", the filmmaker, now settled in Mumbai, says it was the brutal and inhuman nature of the crime which troubled her on an emotional level. "Imagine going through the material regarding a gruesome rape again and again every day," she says. She recalls how she often used to wake up in the middle of the night shocked and afraid while making "India's Daughter". Asked how she feels now that the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for the four men convicted of the rape and murder, she says "I had given two-and-a-half-years of my life to the documentary and so am happy that it has finally come out with the verdict. "More than the actual verdict, the comments and observations made by the apex court have further strengthened my faith in the judicial system of the country." On the documentary still being banned in India, she says, "Yes, obviously I wish the ban to be lifted but let the authorities concerned or court take the appropriate decision.
I have full faith on our judiciary and the government." The documentary was banned by the government after its content, including the interview of one of the rapists who showed no remorse, triggered outrage. A trial court had restrained the airing of the documentary in March 2015. Hailing from the small town of Wazirganj in Bihar, Anuradha Singh, now 45, moved to Mumbai 23 years ago to pursue her dream of working in cinema just after finishing her studies in Delhi and a short stint in journalism. While assisting Renu Saluja, a four-time national award winning editor, on Vidhu Vinod Chopra's "Mission Kashmir", she realised that film editing was her true calling. She later joined FTII, Pune, to learn the art of editing. During her days in FTII, she came in contact with Alex de Grunwald, production manager of Richard Attenborough's film "Gandhi". Her documentary "Touch the Sky with Glory" on the Indian Air Force was appreciated by Grunwald, giving her access to Hollywood. And then one day, Leslee Udwin, with whom she had worked earlier, called her to assist her on "India's Daughter". She also recalls how Hollywood star Meryl Streep praised her work as "incredible" during a screening of the documentary at the New York Institute of Technology.