Short Film ‘Bebaak’ Is The Story Of A Woman Voicing Defiance Against The Status Quo

Short Film ‘Bebaak’ Is The Story Of A Woman Voicing Defiance Against The Status Quo
The Tribune

Bebaak (2019) is an award-winning short film directed by Shazia Iqbal and produced by Anurag Kashyap. It recently won the Best Short Film Award for Short Fiction at Mumbai International Festival of Short, Documentary, and Animation Films, 2020.

The film revolves around the life of a young Muslim girl, Fatin, who is pursuing a degree in Architecture. Unable to pay her annual college fees, her economically vulnerable family decides to seek monetary support from a conservative institute that provides funds to students from the community.

In chronicling Fatin’s fight, the film makes one introspect and even question why is it only that a woman, at every juncture in life, is answerable for the choices she makes and a reminder to that the battle is her own to fight.

Fatin is interviewed by a cleric (portrayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who questions her on her choice of field and then goes on to admonish her for the way she is dressed. Her father, who doesn’t agree with the cleric, is however shackled by his situation and is unable to take a stand for his daughter, whose dignity is being shredded in his presence. Finally, the cleric agrees to fund her education, provided she comes back after brushing up her religious knowledge.

The remaining story takes us through Fatin’s struggle to take claim of her fate and negotiating with religious authority, exacting misogyny, and male dominance over her choices and decisions.

In a seemingly-progressive world that continues to be marred by misogyny and dragged behind by patriarchy, Bebaak is a rare film that places the agency with the young female protagonist and leaves behind a trail of questions for its viewers to ponder over.

Watch the trailer here.

You can watch the film on Mubi here.

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