torsdag 24. mars 2022

Oscars 2022: Writing with Fire puts spotlight on India's underdogs

Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog may be leading this year's Academy Awards with 12 nominations, but India is in thrall over a story of its own underdogs, vying for an Oscar in the documentary feature category. Writing with Fire tells the extraordinary story of the feisty women of Khabar Lahariya - an all-women news service run mostly by editors and reporters from the most marginalised Dalit, Muslim and tribal communities.

The film, which premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival where it won two awards, is yet to be shown in India. But the Oscar nomination and the rave reviews from critics abroad - The Washington Post called it "the most inspiring journalism movie, maybe ever" - have piqued interest at home.

Born as a single-sheet newspaper 20 years ago in the economically deprived Bundelkhand region of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Khabar Lahariya - which translates to Waves of News - is now fully digital, with more than half a million subscribers on YouTube and 10 million average monthly views.