A filmmaker has released his own documentary, United Kingdom’s Daughter, in apparent retaliation against BBC’s film India’s Daughter released earlier this month.
The BBC’s documentary was released March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day. Before the film could air, it was banned in India under the assumption it would inflame tensions in the country regarding the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student known as Nirbhaya.
In India’s Daughter, filmmaker Leslee Udwin chronicles Nirbhaya’s violent assault and death, and includes an interview with one of the convicted rapists, Mukesh Singh, and the parents of the victim.
In the interview, Mukesh claims he didn’t feel guilty at all over the rape, adding that it was Nirbhaya’s fault the attack happened at all.
To refute claims made in the movie that alluded to how great the problem of violence against women is in India, and the generalized views that men have towards the casualness of rape, the Telegraph reports filmmaker Harvinder Singh has released United Kingdom’s Daughter, a film that attempts to show that incidents of sexual assault is just as numerous in the UK as it is in India, if not more.
United Kingdom’s Daughter, though, doesn’t just attempt to prove violence against women happens frequently in Britain, but goes further by criticizing the United Kingdom in general, with base statistics of how many people live under the poverty line, how long marriages last on average, and what percentage of the elderly population in the United Kingdom reside in retirement homes.
After United Kingdom’s Daughter was released, it was met with mixed emotion and reaction.
The International Business Times reports that some people took to Twitter and voiced their approval of United Kingdom’s Daughter and lashed out at the lopsidedness of India’s Daughter. Others criticized and dismissed the film, calling it nothing more than retaliation for the BBC documentary. Still others cited embarrassment at both of the filmmakers for using these crimes to sensationalize a country-based problem when violence against women is a global issue.
Filmmaker Leslee Udwin stands by her work, even under allegations that the film isn’t accurate and mocks the legal system in India. India.com reports that Avanindra Pandey was with the victim during the assault, and that Pandey claims that Udwin had allegedly approached him about the film. He refused, first saying he was unsure of her motive, and then saying he couldn’t mentally handle it. He has since spoken out against the film, calling it “fake.”
Udin countered Pandey’s allegations with her own, claiming she had approached him numerous times to be in the film, but Pandey had demanded money to take part in it. She refused, claiming it to be immoral.
The film, India’s Daughter, is still gaining momentum on YouTube, as highlighted by the Inquisitr on March 8 with the ban still in effect.