MOVIE OF THE WEEK Nov 26, 2021: WRITING WITH FIRE

Feminism meets the fourth estate in Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas‘ powerful documentary Writing With Fire. As it tells the story of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only female-run news outlet, it both examines the media’s critical role in supporting democracy and celebrates the women who won’t let anything get in the way of telling the truth. Armed with smartphones and determination, they shed light on those whose stories are far too often kept hidden in the dark.

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WRITING WITH FIRE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

We are told early on in the documentary Writing With Fire that Uttar Pradesh, in north India, suffers from endemic levels of violence against women and Dalits – a group once known as “the untouchables” — that is so low in the existing caste system that they aren’t even part of it. But in 2002, a group of Dalit woman in the region decided to launch their own newspaper. They were expected to fail, but instead they created a revolution with an all-female staff that sought to improve their country by pressing authority figures to protect and serve their citizenry.

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WRITING WITH FIRE – Review by Leslie Combemale

At the beginning, everyone said a newspaper run by women in the lowest caste would never work. Now KL has a staff of 29, hundreds of millions of hits on their YouTube channel, and has succeeded in a landscape that is still dominated by men. This is a story of women taking their destiny into their own hands, changing how the world sees them, how they see themselves, and literally changing the world at the same time. Writing with Fire shows them doing so, all while entertaining and educating its audience.

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WRITING WITH FIRE – Review by Liz Whittemore

In Writing With Fire, the all-female staff writers fight to keep journalism alive. After 14 years of successful print, they decide to shift to digital. Their goal? Continue to push boundaries and report the truth. Featured journalist Meera is saving lives by putting her own in danger. By doing her job, she is exposing the corruption that freely occurs in India. She and the rest of the writers are heroes. As we watch the media in chaos in the US, we understand how fearless these specific female journalists are. Writing With Fire highlights how violence is commonplace. We hear the terms “murder” and “kill” at every turn.

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THIS IS NOT A MOVIE – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Yung Chang’s documentary This Is Not a Movie is, the title notwithstanding, a terrific movie. It profiles multi-award-winning, veteran journalist Robert Fisk who has covered the Middle East for forty years. As revealed in the course of just under two hours film time, his political and cultural knowledge is formidable, distinguishing his astute, often challenging interpretation of events.

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