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    Directed by

    United Kingdom, India


    90 min

    • Tamil


    When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village. As with her other work (PINK SARIS, ROUGH AUNTIES), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience, and Longinotto follows her on an eye-opening trip back to her village. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly.


    • Best International Director, Best International Feature Film - Documentary Edge IFF
    • Women Inmates’ Jury Special Mention – RIDM IFF


    Ollie Huddleston
    Kim Longinotto
    Ollie Huddleston
    Samuel Sim
    Kim Longinotto

    Kim Longinotto

    United Kingdom

    What's brilliant about making films is that you don't have to be interesting. It's the people you film who are interesting, and you can celebrate them.

    Kim Longinotto (1952) is a British documentary filmmaker, well known for making films that highlight the plight of female victims of oppression or discrimination. She studied English and European literature and later followed friend and future filmmaker, Nick Broomfield to the National Film and Television School. Her first films were set in Japan (EAT THE KIMONO, THE GOOD WIFE OF TOKYO). She is also known for DREAM GIRLS and ROCK WIVES (produced by the BBC and Channel 4), DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, GAEA GIRLS, THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET (Sundance FF), SISTERS IN LAW (winner of two awards at Cannes IFF) and SALMA. Her latest film, DREAMCATCHER, got her the Directing Award at Sundance FF. The project AUNTS (in collaboration with Mirjana Karanović, Šejla Kamerić and Andrea Štaka) is taking part in Pitching du Réel 2018.

    Selected Filmography