Salma's fate wasn’t meant to be any different to that of millions of girls in rural India: you’re born to the huge disappointment of your parents who were desperate for a boy; you're sent to school for a few years; you're married off in your teens and have children of your own. Eventually, you die.
The prospect of such a life haunted Salma when she was a young girl growing up in an ultra-conservative Muslim village in southern India. The thought of puberty filled her with dread, for that was when young girls got locked up inside their homes, forbidden to study, play or do any of the things children do.
This was and still is the destiny of so many girls in her community – until they get married, sometimes only to be imprisoned inside four walls again, but this time in their husband’s home.
Salma's life, however, took another turn and quite an extraordinary one. So extraordinary that it was a story that had to be told, says British director Kim Longinotto.
Longinotto turned Salma’s life story into a film that was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, at the Berlin International Film Festival and at this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Salma is now the most famous female poet in southern India. She is also a politician.
Interview: Maria Caspani
Filming/editing: Shanshan Chen
Special Thanks to: Sheffield Doc/Fest
More on: trust.org
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