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Cannes Market: Indian Silent Film ‘White’ Offers Rape Survivor Tales

Rape. The topic is never easy to talk about, is stubbornly topical, and infuriatingly Indian. So it is appropriate, perhaps, that an Indian silent film “White” will be offered to buyers next week at the Cannes Film Market, an adjunct of the Cannes Film Festival.

“White” comprises three tales of survival; the narrative of a factory girl abused at work; an unwanted child’s return home after being brought up in an orphanage; and a husband’s acceptance of a child born from the rape of his wife by another man. It stars Kaushik Roy, and Arjaa Banerjee.

The film is directed by Aneek Chaudhury, whose previous directing effort “The Wife’s Letter” was a 2016 amalgamation of Salvador Dali’s artform and a short story by India’s Rabindranath Tragore. Production is by Laartiste productions and international sales by U.S.-based Adler & Associates Entertainment.

“Rape leads to a suffering that needs no words to explain. It is a subject that is universal. I wanted it to connect to a wider group of audiences and did not want language to be a barrier. Visual expressions make a film more identifiable than spoken words,” Choudhury told Variety. “I wanted the pain of the characters to be empathized by a person sitting in an Indian slum, as well as by a person staying in Europe.”

Chuadhury says the title is a symbol of hope. “Here, ‘White’ refers to an existing goodness amidst tons of diabolic happenings. I wanted to stress more on the positive side i.e. strength of women to nullify darkness, who fight the odds of life, even after getting raped.”

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