Event — Webinar - Film screening

Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! Documentary film screening with Q&A

A special screening of the award-winning 2011 documentary film, Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! This month marks the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act, whose lingering effects shaped the events depicted in this film.

Followed by a Q&A with the directors and members of Budhan Theatre. 

Time: 14:00-16:30 Amsterdam Time (CEST)

The Documentary

In 1871 in India (150 years ago this month), the British passed the Criminal Tribes Act. The award-winning 2011 documentary, Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! documents the struggles of one community who are using street theatre to fight against continuing police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality.

Over sixty million Indians belong to communities imprisoned by the British as 'criminals by birth.' The Chhara of Ahmedabad, in Western India, are one of 198 such 'Criminal Tribes.' Declaring that they are 'born actors,' not 'born criminals,' a group of Chhara youth have turned to street theatre in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality — a stigma internalised by their own grandparents. Please Don't Beat Me, Sir! follows the lives of these young actors and their families as they take their struggle to the streets, hoping their plays will spark a revolution.

See the film’s website for a trailer and more info: http://dontbeatmesir.com

Speakers (Q&A)

Shashwati Talukdar is an independent filmmaker.  Her work ranges from documentary, narrative and experimental and has shown at venues including the Busan International Film Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Whitney Biennial. https://shashwati.com

P. Kerim Friedman, currently serving as the Chair of Taiwan Studies at Leiden University, is an anthropologist and professor in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan. His research explores language revitalization efforts among indigenous Taiwanese, looking at the relationship between language ideology, indigeneity, and political economy. http://kerim.oxus.net/

Budhan Theatre’s mission is to bring about social change by raising awareness of the historical plight of Denotified Tribes, notably the Chhara community, which has faced physical, social, and psychological struggle through its stigmatization as criminal. We aim to do this by utilizing the talents of the Chharas as natural performers to conduct expressionist theatre that emphasizes these unique issues. https://www.budhantheatre.org

Please Don't Beat Me, Sir! official movie poster

The poster is based on original artwork by Daisy Rockwell.

Design work by S. Ashraf Meer and Arsheya Rauf, with some modifications by Kellen Parker and P. Kerim Friedman.

Copyright Four Nine and a Half Pictures, Inc. 2011.