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Direction: Vani Subramanian

Cinematography: Desmond Roberts

Edit: Kuldeep Gaur, Vani Subramanian

Sound: Pratik Biswas

Produced by: PSBT

78 mins | English, Hindi, Telugu | English Subtitles | 2018


18th Open Frame Film Festival – PSBT, New Delhi

20th Madurai International Film Festival

15th South Asia International Film Festival, New York

6th Kolkata Peoples’ Film Festival

7th Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival

Social Justice Film Festival, Chennai

18th ImagineIndia International Film Festival, Barcelona

Habitat Film Festival, IHC, Delhi

International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Trivandrum

Signs Film Festival, Trissur

Social Justice Film Festival, Chennai

Human Rights Film Festival, Bangalore

Gandhi Film Festival, Madurai

Vikalp@Prithvi Online

Marupakkam Online Film Festival


In the land of Buddha and Gandhi, a strange anomaly lives on in the statute books. The sanction to sentence citizens to ‘the punishment of death’ for a range of crimes – criminal conspiracy, waging war against the State, abetting the suicide of a child or mentally challenged person, sexual assault and kidnapping leading to murder, to name a few. In addition to the Indian Penal Code, a series of legislations enacted by the Parliament over the years have made further provisions for awarding death penalty for crimes such as honour killings and the ‘maintenance of public order’.

Perhaps this irony is best captured by the fact that those convicted of the assassination of the Mahatma Gandhi were among the first to be executed in independent India. In recent times, there has been a rising demand for the death penalty. For everything from rape to terror related cases to cow slaughter. In this highly polarised scenario I believe it is essential for us as artists and communicators to create works that can generate new conversations that reach beyond the rhetorical to discuss how the death penalty doesn’t just execute people, and keep the horrors of state violence legally in the law books, it dehumanises us all.

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