The #Metoo Movement has kicked up a (much-needed) storm which none of the miscreants had seen coming. While social media feeds are flooded with shocking revelations, filmmaker Akarsha Kamala believes it’s always a better idea to focus on the solution. In keeping with that ideology, he created a YouTube video titled, Instructions for rape victims. The short video, which is an ode to rape victims and women who’ve been sexually abused in the past, is garnering momentum on social media – and for good reasons! We find out more...
“Recently an organization called on fire cultural Movement, headed by Fouqia Wajid, based out of Bengaluru held a nationwide poetry contest called The Great Indian Poetry Contest. I had submitted a couple of poems including this one. When I published this poem on Facebook, I received a lot of feedback from my friends that I have talked about the naked truth, that it is poignant, deep and intense. This encouraged me to explore a video that could narrate it as part of a spoken poetry form,” shares Akarsha, who goes on to add, “As I have always known that visual media can make a great impact. So, I wanted to produce it with some strong visuals. But I never thought of bringing it on screen until my friend Manasa Sharma who is a cinematographer herself called me up and said, ‘This should be a video and I can help you film it.’ She emphasised that this poem should get a larger reach and visual media can help us do that. I agreed and this is when we all came together: me, my sister and my friend.”
Elucidating on the crux of the video, Sparsha, who stars in the video adds, “The poem talks about how rape victims are often advised to mask their names, change their stories and how society continues to judge them while men roam freely with their cancerous libidos. In the end of the narrative, the rape victim agrees to propagate all the society’s skeletal lies, boldly says that she is just a carpet of bones but one day she will come rushing as a poem named after You — the abuser, the society, the people etc.”
In the YouTube video, the poem narrative happens through a rape victim, a woman. Speaking of how the casting came by, Akarsha adds, “I wanted an actor that I am comfortable working with and somebody who understands the vision I have. I can say I am lucky to have found an actor who happens to be my sister, Sparsha, who not only understands my vision but can also take forward that vision to the next level through her performance. Sparsha has a great voice and can understand the poetry to emote it. What was more interesting is my editor and cinematographer happens to be a woman as well. So in a way the narrative vision really had women behind the screen and on the screen. Working with such a sensitive and hard- hitting topic it was great to have their perspectives while filming.”
The video, which has clocked in over 3000+ views in two days, is what Akarsha is pinning all his hopes on. “I want this narrative to reach pan India and I have been trying to contact all the FB pages that have a nationwide reach. Hope it sees a pan India view. It’s high time we stand for issues that need support. That aside, I’m currently working on my next short film which happens to be on a woman-oriented topic. I will continue to write poems that will talk about uncomfortable topics, the ones that have plagued the society for a long time now,” he concludes.