Journalist and filmmaker Padmalatha Ravi is not the kind to just hang around and listen to the endless yammering about “What was she doing there and what was she wearing?”— the kind of conversations that have been the soundtrack of our lives forever, just louder since the Delhi 2012 rape. (Btw, we do think that is an idiotic way of referring to this but neither we nor Wikipedia have found a better way yet.) Padmalatha decided she wanted a new way of responding to these conversations. The result is this simple and deadly-in-its-simplicity short film. And here it is: online for the first time.
Padmalatha worked with friends and crowdsourced her way to this 14 minute exploration of ideas about good girls and bad girls. The conversations with a wide cross-section of people in Bangalore are connected by segues by dancer-choreographer Shabari Rao. Any doubts Padma and collaborator Umesh PN had that people will be circumspect or politically correct in front of the camera were wiped out fairly quickly. Everyone had an opinion and everyone wanted to air it.
The question about clothing and virtue kept coming up during the interviews and eventually Padmalatha decided to include that as a third thread in the video. Padmalatha says, “One lady began saying that sleeveless clothes are not good, paused, looked at me and the cameraperson Sajana J. We were both wearing sleeveless tops. She paused but she continued saying on camera that sleeveless clothes are not good!”
PS. If you enjoy this film and want to support the sequel Padmalatha’s working on, do go to GGDD’s Facebook page.