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Women fighting for equal representation in their own way everywhere: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari believes women have always been fighting for equality in different forms across the globe.

The critically-acclaimed director recently released a short film "Ghar Ki Murgi", which celebrates the lives of millions of women who often go unrecognised and unappreciated in the society.

She said the battles may differ but the root cause is the same.

"Women are not treated equally across the world today and that in every country they are fighting for equal representation of women in their own way. In the US, they are talking about pay parity and equal roles for women in workplaces. Socially backward countries have issue of malnutrition, they talk about women not taking care of their heath.

"In Africa, because of pollution and water content becoming less, women are going to faraway places to pick up water and because of that their health is deteriorating and they are falling ill," Ashwiny told PTI.

In "Ghar Ki Murgi", which is set in old Delhi, Ashwiny shows the everyday drudgery in the life of a selfless housewife, played by seasoned actor Sakshi Tanwar.

The filmmaker said it is a myth that only working women are strong while those who take care of the house and family aren't.

"I believe 80 per cent of women in this country are educated but just because you are educated doesn't mean you are going to work. If you go to work, it doesn't make you important or stronger than other women, who don't (go to work).

"Right now, circumstances make you leave your job and also it is your decision whether to work or not. Besides, there are so many homemakers who are doing so much work," she said.

Ashwiny said the intent behind the short was to "acknowledge and appreciate the contribution of women".

"The film celebrates the selfless spirit of a woman who gives her whole life tendering and caring for every family member without thinking much about her own self. I wish all families watch this story and say a thank you to the woman in the lives.

"Our DNA is such as women that I maybe a progressive working woman but there is one side of us where we are born to keep everyone else in front of us," she added.

Ashwiny said all of her films, be it "Nil Battey Sannata", "Bareily Ki Barfi" or her latest feature "Panga", had universal appeal as they have emotions which every woman from across the globe can relate to.

Citing the example of her directorial debut, "Nil Battey Sannata", she said, "The film did so well in China and other places outside India, I realised, language is no barrier, a story with a good universal idea cannot be a barrier.

"The day 'Panga' comes online and I am sure people will relate to it, it is because they will understand a mother's perspective. Emotions like angry, crying, laughter, jealousy don't belong to any class or country."

The first quarter of 2020 saw a slew of strong-women narratives from Deepika Padukone's "Chhappak", Ashwiny's "Panga" to Taapsee Pannu-starrer "Thappad". However, despite the critical acclaim, their box office collections were below the expectations.

The director said it would be incorrect to generalise that women-centric films are not money spinners.

"The whole thing that women centric films are not working, it is very unfair to say that. There are many films that came along with 'Panga' also didn't do well.

"People are going to watch cinema only because they are aware that a good story is coming out, 'Panga' did have a good story but you can't help it. We did everything right. I am sure when the film will come online, people will talk about it."

"Ghar Ki Murgi", written by Ashwiny's filmmaker husband Nitesh, had its India premiere on the digital platform, SonyLIV, on International Women's Day, March 8.

Earlier in 2018, it was one of the five short films selected for BRICS Film Festival and represented India. It is co-produced by Chinese director Jia Zhangke.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 13:16 IST