minnie vaid

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a doctor to defend: the binayak sen story| 46mins
Director: minnie vaid | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: India
Subject Tags: asia, human rights, india, oppression, peace, poverty, violence
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
The film weaves the life journey of Binayak Sen covering the influences that shaped the path he was to take - from the Christian Medical College where he studied, the trade union workers’ hospital in Dalli Rajhara where he worked, the Rupantar trust that he and his wife set up to help villagers, to the almost inevitable choices such as the decision to investigate and speak up against the corruption happening within the state, even as he knew the dangerous outcome. The film jumps back and forth in time between various high points in Binayak’s life presenting key players and primarily Binayak himself talking about his work and decisions. A portrait emerges: This is a man who cannot turn his face away from things that affects other people's lives in a wrong way. He cannot just live his own life in peaceful oblivion of the suffering faced by a large section of society deprived of or denied justice. Binayak propose a detailed explanation of the two-India theory, where the rich section of society is responsible for the 8% growth, the malls and the prosperity in sharp contrast to the deprivation and struggle faced by the rest of India. He delivers a clear warning that people will not keep on tolerating being oppressed while others prosper. He urges people to come forward in a nation-wide plea for equality, peace and justice. Accompanied by rare footage of Salwa Judum in July 2009 when it was still possible to sneak in and shoot with a hidden camera, Binayak traces the genesis of the Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored vigilant movement to deal with the Naxalite problem in the affected areas of Chhattisgarh. He concludes that violence is never a solution and dialogue is the only way out. The court case against Binayak, the trial, the imprisonment and the immense support through the Free Binayak Sen campaign, the trauma his family underwent and continues to face. This is a price that everyone paided for a choice that Binayak says he would still make, if he was to choose today. All of these important issues are dealt with in the film, which is non-linear in style and devoid of any voice-over. The film is a record, a testimony of what can happen to a ‘prisoner of conscience’ when he decides to follow the conscience all the way.

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