'A thoughtful, moving and, above all, important exploration of the power of theatre to impact a generation and incite a revolution.'
— Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing
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 theater in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality — a stigma internalized 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.
Shashwati Talukdar, Director/Producer/Editor, was educated in India and the US. She began her career as an assistant editor on one of Michael Moore's TV shows. She has worked for HBO, BBC, Lifetime, Sundance and Cablevision. Her films have screened at the Margaret Mead Festival, Berlin and the Whitney Biennial, among other venues.
P. Kerim Friedman, Director/Producer/Camera, is an associate professor at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan, where he teaches linguistic and visual anthropology. He is a founding member of the group anthropology blog Savage Minds and a documentary filmmaker.
Please Don't Beat Me, Sir! had its world premiere at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and was given the Society for Visual anthropology's prestigious Jean Rouch Award for Collaborative Filmmaking. It has also earned the Mahindra Creative Award for Social Change and was giving a "special mention" at the 2012 Zanzibar International Film Festival.
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Vimukta is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit to help support India's Denotified Tribes. We currently support a library and community center run by Budhan Theatre and we are raising money to help support the children's division of Budhan Theatre. You can learn more at the Vimukta website, or make a donation below.
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