wiki:Something Like A War

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Something Like A War'

1991 63’ col English d Deepa Dhanraj pc D&N Prod, Equal Media c Navroze Contractor

Noted feminist documentary addressing the Indian government’s controversial family planning programme. After the infamous Sanjay Gandhi-led forced sterilisation programmes during the Emergency (1975-6), the programme ran into trouble again promoting injectable contraception, hormonal implants and abortifacient pills, often on the recommendation of international population control agencies dominated by multinational corporate interests. The film concentrates on the experience of the women subjected to the programme, contrasting this with the official discourse and the well-known governmentsponsored advertising jingles (‘small family happy family’). The women speak with, for Indian film, unprecedented candour. The rapid TV-style editing sometimes undoes the fine camerawork but the film manages to convey that the invocation of Western-style notions of individual freedom in the very different context of Indian women’s lived conditions can be oppressive, esp. when women are socially denied the right to control their fertility and do not have access to appropriate post-operative health care systems.