For Maya
INDIA / 1997 / English / Color / 16mm / 38 min

Director, Script, Narration:
Vasudha Joshi
Photography, Producer: Ranjan Palit
Sound: Suresh Rajamani
Editing: Reena Mohan
Music: Shubha Mudgal
Production Company: Vector Productions
Source: Foundation for Universal Responsibility

Vasudha Joshi

Born in 1957. Finished B.A. (Hons) Sociology, Miranda House, Univ. of Delhi, Diploma in Contemporary Cultural Studies, Univ. of London, and M. Sc. Sociology of Education, Univ. of London. Worked as a reporter and researcher for documentaries, Bandung Productions, London. Joined PTI-TV, Delhi as a freelance correspondent directing reports from Eastern India. In 1988 she set up Vector Productions, in partnership with Ranjan Palit to produce documentaries. Her works include: Voices from Baliapal' (co-director, 1988), The World's Largest Democracy (1989), Follow the Rainbow (1991), Mahila Samakhya, Banda-a report, Sasha (1994), A Report on Mahila Samakhya, UP (awarded Silver Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival, 1996), and Changing Dimensions (1998).

Set in the Himalayan districts of Kumaon and Garhwal, the film explores the lives of three generations of women, ending with the fourth, a small girl on the threshold of growing up. Through personal anecdotes and stunning imagery, the history of changes in the lifestyles and social standing of women over the years is unraveled. Cinematographer Ranjan Palit's documentary A Magic Mystic Marketplace was invited to New Asian Currents in '97.

Director's Statement

For Maya was commissioned as a half-hour film on gender, for a series of films called ' India's Quest' to commemorate 50 years of Indian Independence.
The changes in women's lives in this period have been fairly dramatic, particularly in middle class families, and I began toying with the idea of filming three generations of a family - and tracing the changes through these generations.
In the same period I had been leafing through my mother's ' diary' - she had begun writing a notebook after she was sixty-five years old - and then I thought, why not do it on women in my own family?
For Maya explores the changes in three - and now four - generations of women in my family: my mother, my sister, my daughter who is growing up and episodes from my grandmother's life, which she had narrated to my sister when she was growing up.
The film looks at how new aspirations are replacing patriarchal norms in the family and explores some myths used to socialize women into being ' good girls'.
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