Meryl Streep attended the U.S. premiere of the banned documentary “India’s Daughter” held at Baruch College. The Oscar-winner led the vigil attended by 600 people in honor of 23-year-old physiotherapy student, Jyoti Singh, who was raped inside a bus in 2012.
“Tonight we light these candles to honor the value and the work of Jyoti Singh’s short, promising life. She was India’s daughter. Tonight she’s our daughter too,” Streep said during the vigil, as reported by The Associated Press.
Indian actress and model Freida Pinto also attended the vigil and the documentary’s premiere.
“This film in no way is propagating violence in order to solve the problem. In fact, what we’re saying is let’s do this in the most civilized possible way ever,” Pinto told AP.
“This is not just an India problem; this is a problem that inflicts almost every country in the world. There’s not a single country in 2015 that is free of sexual violence against women,” Pinto said.
According to the report from AP, strong objections against the documentary were brought by how it showed one of the rapists being interviewed.
The rapist seemed to have no remorse, even blaming the victim’s decision to take the bus late in the evening.
“A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes,” the rapist said.
BBC Airs India’s Daughter
The film was supposed to be shown in India in time for International Women’s Day on March 8 but was banned by the government for allegedly promoting violence. BBC UK, however, decided to air the documentary in BBC Storyville.
The documentary was watched by 286,000 people, with 1.9 percent of the audience tuning in between 10pm and 11pm. The rating was the highest BBC4’s Storyville had received for 2015 so far.
The documentary had a five-minute peak of 353,000 viewers.
“India’s Daughter” provided a “revealing insight into a horrific crime that sent shock waves around the world and led to protests across India demanding changes in attitudes towards women,” BCC said. The corporation believed the documentary “handles the issue responsibly and we are confident the program fully complies with our editorial guidelines.”
Leslee Udwin, the British director of the film, told BBC that the ban by Indian authorities was misguided.
“I went out there not to point a finger at India – the opposite, to put it on a pedestal, to say not in my life have I seen another country go out with that fortitude and courage the way the Indian nation did. Unfortunately what this ill-advised decision to ban the film is now going to do is have the whole world point fingers at India,” Udwin said.
“The supreme irony is that they are now accusing me of having wanted to point fingers at India, defame India, and it is they who have committed international suicide by banning this film.”