Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Deepa Mehta on Her Film 'Anatomy of Violence' about 2012 Gang Rape in Delhi

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Deepa Mehta on Her Film 'Anatomy of Violence' about 2012 Gang Rape in Delhi

Article excerpt

Deepa Mehta on 'Anatomy of Violence'


TORONTO - Deepa Mehta was in New Delhi visiting her mother in 2012 when news broke of a horrific gang rape there.

Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, was raped and beaten by six men for hours on a moving bus she was on with a male friend. She died two weeks later as a result of massive injuries sustained in the attack.

"There's something that's so visceral about this experience, about the thought of a young woman in a moving bus being gang-raped, and the bus is going around an area of Delhi, passing six police posts and nothing happens," Mehta, who grew up in New Delhi, said in a recent interview.

"What was horrific about the whole process was that they threw the young couple out of the bus naked and it took some time for the police to come and get them."

"Anatomy of Violence," which starts screening at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, is a fictional dramatization of the lives of the rapists.

The intent is to initiate a dialogue about the systemic issues, like misogyny and patriarchy, that lead to such violence and breed such individuals, said the acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker.

"I do hope that it brings up discussion about how society is complicit in how we bring up our children, the kind of education they have, the glass ceiling and how important equality is," said the writer-director of the Oscar-nominated "Water."

Mehta said she also hopes to elicit a sense of empathy for the rapists.

"I don't feel compassion for them because they made a choice and they have to be responsible for that choice and that choice is a horrific, brutal choice," she said.

"I just think that if they hadn't been brought up the way they were, that girl would not be a victim, she would not be dead. That's food for thought, so why are people afraid of feeling that we're responsible for them being the way they are? …

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