Acclaimed writer-director Nandita Das’ short film ‘Listen to Her’ opens with a woman trying to conduct an online meeting with her peers. However, she is constantly interrupted by her restless son and her husband who is absorbed in watching videos, oblivious to her presence. After repeatedly resuming the meeting, the woman is yet again interrupted by a phone call. On the other end is a shushed, scared voice of a woman pleading her to listen; to help.
The film is an essential documentary on the reality of increasing domestic violence cases in the current lockdown. The National Commission of Women (NCW) raised an alarm at the spike rate in domestic violence cases across the country. Nandita plays an urban, working woman who is privileged but doesn’t escape the patriarchal roots of domestic abuse. Although its nature differs.
The lockdown has implored people to hole up in the safety of their homes. Through universal understanding, home is considered the safest place to be; crisis or not. However, Nandita in her short film rips off the band-aid to show how for women, the terrifying nature of the insides resembles the outside. Their constant need to be loud enough, to have a voice and be heard remains a luxury not many women in India can afford.
Watch the video here:
(If you know someone that needs help, please reach out to proper healthcare or police officials)