A hard-hitting film about the brutalities of India’s illicit child trafficking industry opened the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF) here. (Also Read: Movie Review: Lakshmi)
Lakshmi, based on the real-life story of a 14-year-old girl kidnapped from her village in Andhra Pradhesh and forced into prostitution, has been written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor.
“This is the kind of film that changes you. It will move and repulse audiences but I don’t think it would be possible to be dismissive about child trafficking after this,” said Kukunoor, who also takes on the role of a nasty pimp in the film.
“I would just like to say that the violence in the film is all clever editing, I have never hit a woman in my life,” he told an extremely moved audience at the end of he film’s UK premiere at Tricycle Cinema in London yesterday.
In real life, Lakshmi goes on to eventually testify in court against her traffickers, setting a precedence for such cases in the legal arena.
“It is a kind of scarring that one would live with for a long time. However, Lakshmi is now a happy, intelligent woman working at the same rescue shelter which gave her refuge,” added the director of successful off-beat films like Hyderabad Blues and Iqbal.
Lakshmi kicks off a 12-day celebration of independent South Asian arts and cinema across London as it returns for the 16th year.