Anindita Sarbadhicari has always been a fearless storyteller, and in her latest outing Every 68 Minutes, she narrates the story of a society that’s unbearably brutal on its women. Starring Richa Sharma, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Adil Hussain, the film focuses on the realities of a recent national survey which states that every 68 minutes, a woman dies in the country over domestic and dowry-related violence.
“The society is constantly telling the girl child ‘log kya kehenge.’ This stops the woman from realising her own strength. Vaidehi does not escape an abusive relationship because she was scared how it would impact her family. The entire society is to blame,” Anindita tells us at a special screening of the film. We caught up with the filmmaker to talk about her new film and more:
Is the film a thriller?
Not in the conventional sense. The fact that 1 woman dies every 68 minutes – we take a look at its reality. The story is about an educated urban woman who has a job. So, I’ve tried to do away with the myth that domestic violence mostly happens in the lower stratas of society, it’s absolutely not true.
How did you zero in on the cast?
I always wanted a fresh face for Vaidehi, so people get to know the character; it doesn’t always happen when you cast a star. Adil Hussain is my National School of Drama batchmate, he was also cast in my first film Barkha which was nominated for an Oscar. He plays the father, and the role is a really crucial anchor point for the movie.
How do you think Every 68 Minutes is different from films which have talked about domestic violence in the past?
It’s inescapably brutal, I haven’t spared anyone. We often treat the girl’s family as the victim, but even they don’t end up saving her in most cases. Even last week, an artiste in Bangalore committed suicide and she wrote to her mother. The only people who can actually help are the girl’s own family, they can always pull her away. I haven’t really spared anyone in the film, not even myself, because in the time we are speaking, a girl has gone through the same tragedy and we couldn’t stop her.
People have asked me why it doesn’t have an optimistic end, it’s because I didn’t want people to walk away smiling. The reality is much harsher than the film.
Do you plan to make films of similar genre?
All my films have social sensitivity, so even a love story will be poignant and will have aspects of reality, so yes.