India's Daughter gets another screening in Singapore, executive producer to take questions

SINGAPORE - India's banning of the documentary India's Daughter, about the 2012 gang rape and murder of student Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi, and the subsequent media coverage of it have given the film a massive publicity boost.

Executive producer Thomas Morgan says: "You just mention the name of the film and people all know it around the world, in Singapore, in the US, in the UK. It's been a lightning rod for conversations about how we treat women in our societies."

The film had a sold-out screening at The Projector last week. To meet demand, there will be another screening on Wednesday (Dec 16) at 8pm at The Projector. Morgan, 48, an American film-maker based in Singapore, will take questions after the showing.

Ms Singh's rape and death gained worldwide attention in 2012 for its brutality. The 23-year-old physiotherapy student and a male friend were on board a bus when they were attacked. Six men, including the bus driver, were arrested and four have been sentenced to death.

Ms Singh died in Singapore after being flown here for medical treatment.

The crime sparked demonstrations across the country, with protesters demanding stronger protections for women and stiffer penalties for assaults on women.

Further controversy ensued after British director Leslee Udwin's film was banned in India days before it was due to be broadcast on International Women's Day, March 8, this year. Some officials saw the film as profiting from a misfortune, others saw it as defaming the country.

The documentary famously includes a jailhouse interview with one of the killers, who says that if Ms Singh had not fought the rape, she could have lessened that physical assault, and that "a girl is far more responsible for a rape than a boy… a decent girl would not roam around at 9 o'clock at night".

A defence lawyer is also taped saying that he would douse with petrol and set alight female members of his family who "disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face".

Morgan, who helped fund the film along with business partner, American actress Susan Sarandon, says these outrageous statements are all the more tragic when seen against the details of Ms Singh's life, as the film reveals.

"This was an upwardly mobile woman, who came from a very poor background, who had come to this point in her life because her family had leveraged everything so she could go to medical school.

"This great potential, this true underdog, and that life was all taken away," he says.

johnlui@sph.com.sg

Book it

INDIA'S DAUGHTER (NC16)

Where: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower

When: Wednesday (Dec 16), 8pm

Admission: $10

Info: Executive producer Thomas Morgan will be attending a Q&A session after the screening. For more details, go to theprojector.sg