We Women Want with Shabana Azmi and Divya Datta on Feminism in films and off screen

This week on the We Women Want show we have two women of style and substance – *Shabana Azmi and Divya Dutta. * The two have acted in the recently released Sheer Qorma, a movie about acceptance and belonging and one that explores non binary relationships. The movie was given an award at the Yellow Stone Film Festival held in the NCR recently.

Yellowstone is a platform that recognises unconventional cinema and and quality film makers. Both Shabana and Divya are known for their distinctive, often unconventional female character-roles. Speaking to NewsX Senior Executive Editor, Priya Sahgal the duo spoke about how gender issues and women roles are treated on screen. Both said that they would never do a role that would demean women, if they do a role of a woman who has been wronged or who is misguided, they would like to see some progression of the character and some positive messaging at the end of it. Neither would go in for meaningless stereotypes.

They also talked about the recent hijab controversy, where women in Iran are burning their hijabs while in India some are fighting for the right to wear them. As Shabana said, its a matter of choice at the end of the day and quoted a couplet she had written during Covid – “Do din mein mask pehen kar thak gaya who admi, jo kehta that aurat ko parde mein rehna hai ” . The show also talked about art, for as Shabana said, art is not meant to soothe, its not a lullaby but a means to raise our voice, dissent and provoke. Divya Dutta spoke against objectification of women and also the rise of OTT platforms that allow unconventional film makers space to explore themes that may not make it to mainstream cinema.

Catch fresh episodes of ‘We Women Want’ every Saturday & Sunday on NewsX. The program will also streamed live on major OTT platforms- Dailyhunt, Zee5, MX Player, ShemarooMe, Watcho, Mzaalo, Jio TV, Tata Play and PayTm livestreams.

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