The Spell of Purple celebrates courage of women: Director Prachee Bajania at IFFI 52

The spell of Purple celebrates courage of women however it also speaks about fatigue that sets in after having to constantly struggle with patriarchy. Thousands of women are labelled witches with ulterior motives to grab property or to trouble them and this movie tells the story of fight of these women against forces of patriarchy in a small field in tribal Gujarat, said director of movie Prachee Bajania. She was speaking at a press interaction at IFFI 52 in Goa today and was joined by Director of Photography Rajesh Amara Rajan.

The idea of this film flashed to the director when she was travelling through the forests of Ambi Dumala. Search for a source of 10 seconds folk song that Prachee heard in forests of Ambi Dumala ended with the movie, The Spell of Purple.

While speaking about the inspiration behind the title of the film, the Director said that purple colour is associated with magic and mysticism. Prachee wanted to use this colour to talk about theme of the subject as well as to show that women are still blooming despite odds against them.

Many of the attempts to label women as witches are with the intention of grabbing their property or sexually harassing them, said Prachi.

“The movie celebrates the courage but also speaks about weariness faced by them due to constant harassment”, it gives the message that freedom lies in loving.

The original title of the movie in Gujarati is Khilshe Toh Khara (They will bloom) signifying that women will bloom despite all the odds and evil forces against them in the society.

The director said that Gujarati cinema which was mostly being screened only in rural centers earlier have now started getting released in urban centers after 2012-13 and is slowly getting popular there too.

Director of Photography Rajesh Amara Rajan spoke about his attempt to capture through his lens the male instinct for voyeuristic gaze as portrayed in the film.

Srujana Adusumalli (Editor), Jikku Joshi (Sound Designer) and Shikha Bisht (Production Designer) also interacted with the media.

The film which was shown at Indian Panorama Non-Feature Film section at IFFI 52 was the graduation film made as part of their training at FTII, Pune.

About the Movie

Inaas, the sole owner of a small field in tribal Gujarat, is the target of envious neighbours who brand her a ‘witch’. Enveloped in fear, she looks for strength in other women – a new mother dealing with loneliness and a young married woman forced to reckon with turmoil of her own. The Mahua forest bears silent witness to their secret conversations, sometimes reaching out through ancient folk songs. The film captures the bone-deep weariness that often lies behind such women’s daily courage.

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