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by Kim Longinotto


In villages inhabited by India’s Muslim minority in Tamil southern India, as soon as a girl reaches puberty she is locked away until her wedding. This was Salma's fate when she turned thirteen. Hungry for an education, she avoided an arranged marriage for nine long years by keeping herself confined in a bare room. When she finally agrees to wed local politician Malik, she finds herself imprisoned once again – this time in her husband’s home where the only things she has to read are the newspapers wrapping the vegetables. Clandestinely, she begins to write poetry which her mother helps her smuggle out to a publisher. Her life changes completely when her poems are published and, with the aid of her publisher, she finally travels to Chennai for the first time. Now a well-known poet, she begins to apply for government positions, and inspires her sisters and other women also to fight for their freedom and independence. For, she argues, it is the mutual oppression of women by other women that perpetuates the status quo.

international title: Salma
original title: Salma
country: United Kingdom
year: 2013
genre: documentary
directed by: Kim Longinotto
film run: 90'
cinematography by: Kim Longinotto
film editing: Ollie Huddleston
music: Samuel Sim
producer: Kim Longinotto
production: Vixen Films
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