Exploration of the Movie To Kill a Tiger
To Kill a Tiger viewers who are aware of the adventure we have gotten into might be shocked by the content of “To Kill a Tiger,” a new documentary by Nisha Pahuja. I know this isn’t the usual thing to say in an effort to drum up interest in a movie you haven’t seen. However, it fits the bill and makes sense here. Although “To Kill a Tiger” is engaging and portrays an important narrative, some viewers may find the film’s journey too emotional.
The opening sequence is the most excruciating thing I’ve ever seen on screen. A young woman, Kiran (a pen name), is seen braiding her hair. She was raped by three men, including her cousin, during a family wedding in their tiny town in northeastern India, as her father Ranjit explains to the camera. On average, a woman is raped every 20 minutes, yet only around 10% of these cases are ever recorded.
Ranjit felt helpless in not being able to defend his daughter and was resolved to see that the three men were taken to justice for their actions. The Sirjan Foundation, an organisation of activists, hears about the case since it’s so unusual to witness a parent speaking out for their daughter in a rape case. Volunteers join the effort in the belief that a successful conviction will lead to a shift in the horrifying local attitudes regarding these types of crimes.
As a result of taking the issue to court rather than settling it as a “village matter” and finding a middle ground with the assailants, numerous of the other residents took turn against Ranjit and his family. Men and women equally have voiced support for the “compromise” of Kiran marrying each of her rapists in order to regain her honour and restore peace and harmony in the hamlet.
The grotesqueness of this proposal is shocking, but it won’t be the last the family hears. The community shuns Kiran because they believe she is solely responsible for the atrocity. When others’ attempts to persuade Ranjit to abandon his prosecution in order to “rebuild the mood” prove futile, they resort to more extreme measures, such as threatening to kill him as well as burn his home.
The defendants should not face charges, according to the biological father among one of them because “they won’t do it again.” Women ought to know more effectively, the defence counsel says, therefore Kiran is ultimately to fault for the occurrence. However, in almost the very next line, she undermines herself by saying, “I have no confidence in my own son.” Consider that practically every instance I described above happens in front of Pahuja’s camera to get a sense of how pervasive this mindset is.
During the course of the case’s 14-month legal process, we see its impact on all parties and wonder whether it was worthwhile. There are several occasions during the case when Ranjit’s ability to persevere is called into question due to the social isolation, physical danger, and financial demands of maintaining the case.
The villagers’ behaviour and language had become more reprehensible, and at one point they even started threatening Pahuja and the others for their involvement in the “local” affair. When the neighbourhood police inspector botches his crucial declaration in the courtroom, the entire case comes down to the veracity of Kiran’s testimony, and she rises to the occasion admirably in the portion of it we get to listen to.