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HomeEntertainmentDev Patel talks about his Oscar-tipped film ‘To Kill A Tiger’

Dev Patel talks about his Oscar-tipped film ‘To Kill A Tiger’

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Dev Patel is in the news for a special documentary film he is executive-producing along with Mindy Kaling. Titled To Kill A Tiger, the documentary charts the emotional journey of Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, who forces a social reckoning after his 13-year-old daughter is the victim of a gangrape by three young men, including her cousin.

The official synopsis reads: “Ranjit, a farmer in India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the victim of a brutal gang rape. His decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented.”

Directed and written by Nisha Pahuja, To Kill A Tiger is longlisted for this year’s Oscars.

The film has already won 20 awards, including the Best Documentary at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Pahuja, a Canadian filmmaker born in Delhi, was in India when she became involved in the extraordinary case.

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“We realised it was problematic treating her differently as we didn’t want her to think she had done anything wrong. She also wanted to come forward to encourage other survivors. She is an incredible young woman. The father is an exceptional man. Their belief in human rights must be in their DNA,” she told a publication.

Patel said that he “had a very physical reaction whilst watching Pahuja’s tender and powerful story of a father’s love, and his determination to support his teenage daughter’s quest for justice.

“I had a very physical reaction,” he said. “I was an emotional mess but also deeply inspired. I loved the way the documentary followed the story as it unfolded, just observing them, letting them be who they are.”

He added, “So much of the story accumulates and rests on her shoulders. You’re so on edge. When she’s putting make-up on for the trial, you worry they are going to judge her. It almost plays like a thriller. There are so many obstacles put in front of her.”

Pahuja thinks the film has a universal resonance. “It’s a lot easier to say that the problem is ‘over there’. It’s a lot harder to look within our own communities and recognise the issues that exist here. On a more philosophical level, it shows how necessary it is to have the courage to take that step. I hope more women and girls are inspired to seek justice,” she said.

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