So far we have been hearing about Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawala starrer Gulaab Gang directed by Soumik Sen. And now, there’s a twist in the tale. A documentary film titled Gulabi Gang by Nishtha Jain is all set to release before the Bollywood feature. Interestingly, both the films explore the same subject. Our guess is the bollywood film will have much more to it than just the story of Sampat Pal and her Gulabi Gang.
Gulaab Gang is set to release on 7th March, 2014. And PVR Cinemas is releasing the documentary Gulabi Gang on 21st February. Its presented by Sohum Shah, actor-producer of Ship Of Theseus. The film has been doing the festival rounds for quite some time. It also won the Best Director Award in the International Competition section of the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) of Shorts, Docus and Animation.
Here’s the trailer of the film –
With the comparisons being made, recently Nishtha clarified few things on her FB post. We are copy-pasting it here –
I’m dismayed and partially amused with a lot of wrong reporting in the print and audio-visual media about my views on the Bollywood film Gulaab Gang, about my own film and it’s theatrical release. I guess I should have expected that nuances will get lost but some of the stuff the media has been putting in my mouth is blatant lies. I just want to clarify that:
1. I have not given the name Gulabi Gang to this group of women. They have been working in Bundelkhand since 2006 under this banner. I’ve only made a documentary about their work. This is not the first or the last film on them. There have been many before and I’m sure there’ll be more. And Budelkhand is not a village it’s a linguistic region of UP and MP.
2. Also I’ve never said that the Bollywood film Gulaab Gang is based on my film. I’ve not seen the film, only their trailer. The makers of Gulaab Gang didn’t need to take permission from me but from the real group called Gulabi Gang for using their name, concept etc.
3. I have never said that mine is the first documentary to be released in India, there have been many before.
4. I have never said my film is entertaining. Yes it is in parts but the words I have been using are engaging, engrossing, disturbing, grey, complex etc. Maybe in common parlance that makes the film entertaining.
5. And this quote which is being curculated bereft of it’s original context “I’m not an ‘activist-filmmaker’. Nor am I ‘woman-filmmaker”. This is what I had said in answer to the question by Dear Cinema:
Dear Cinema: In India, most documentary filmmakers are also activists in their own right. How do you see yourself in that light?
Nishtha Jain: I’m not an ‘activist-filmmaker’. Nor am I ‘woman-filmmaker’. I don’t like all these labels. I’m a filmmaker, a feminist and when the need arises, an activist. My films grow out of my world view and interests.
– To know more about Gulabi Gang, click here.
– To read Nishtha Jain’s interview on the film, click here.