hidden image

In Her, Tribals Saw a New Face

Mohan Sivanand Mohan Sivanand
02 Oct 2023

This is among the most outstanding films I watched recently. I caught a preview last week. It’s the true-to-life story of a young nun, Rani Maria, who worked among tribals in rural Madhya Pradesh. Even so, this film is not about religion -- don’t let its posters lead you.

For Shaison P Ouseph, its director, this is his first film, and what a powerful debut! Sister Rani Maria is played by Vincy Aloshious, a rising star from Malayalam cinema. The soft-spoken Dr Ouseph teaches film-making at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai. The film’s producer, Sandra Rana, is Dean at St Xavier’s.

For those who don’t know much about the way tribals are suppressed, tortured, even killed by landlords in northern India, this movie says it all. India has a reprehensible position as a ringleader of modern slavery. Successive governments have not done enough to eliminate this.

Focusing on a group of villages in Indore district, you witness the hell these debt-ridden tribal farming communities endure. In the mid-1990s, Rani Maria was posted in an outstation convent, joining a cheerful sisterhood of nuns from Kerala. So, this Hindi movie has some Malayalam dialogue as well, and English subtitles.

She took on the responsibility, by herself, to right injustices and soon many tribals were no longer dependent on a tyrannical zamindar. He made it his mission to eliminate Maria when his income took a hit. Seniors at the convent, too, found fault with the young nun for going beyond her call.

It’s also a saga of forgiveness, as you will see. Mahesh Aney's camera work doesn’t have a single bad shot. Sister Rani Maria, who died in 1995, has recently been beatified by the Vatican.

(The writer is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Indian edition of Reader's Digest)

Recent Posts

The recently concluded Assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram have been of great interest for various reasons
apicture Ram Puniyani
11 Dec 2023
One standard comment I have been hearing across the political and social spectrum is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
apicture A. J. Philip
11 Dec 2023
The Congress's downfall is closely tied to its unquestionable devotion to the Gandhi family.
apicture Chhotebhai
11 Dec 2023
The Global Hunger Index 2023, released on 19 October, places India in the 111th rank out of 125 countries. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculates the index.
apicture Dr. M. D. Thomas
11 Dec 2023
After years of allegation over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update exercise in Assam, the court proceedings begin against the former State coordinator Prateek Hajela
apicture Nava Thakuria
11 Dec 2023
The demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, was that seminal moment in our national life that inalterably changed the trajectory of our history.
apicture Mathew John
11 Dec 2023
It is an exciting reality to feel that we are all pearls. Pearl is a beautiful thing made or formed in nature.
apicture P. A. Joseph
11 Dec 2023
India could have won, despite losing the World Cup final! What an opportunity they had of winning
apicture Robert Clements
11 Dec 2023
Data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service reveals that the average global temperature between January and October 2023 has surpassed all previous records.
apicture Sacaria Joseph
04 Dec 2023
The far-right is running away with the world, having most recently won elections in Argentina and The Netherlands. Even more ominous, Trump leads Biden in the polls and Netanyahu is on the loose.
apicture Mathew John
04 Dec 2023