Posted on September 12, 2022 at 12:48 am

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Stain Resistant South Asian Short Film Delicate Work Of Art

Stain Resistant South Asian Short Film Delicate Work Of Art

Stain Resistant South Asian Short Film Delicate Work Of Art

This is the story of two women, former classmates from Delhi, who reconnect in Silicon Valley in their forties, after taking completely different paths through life. Sunny came to the US after an arranged marriage and raised a family in Silicon Valley. Tara, a single New Yorker, is a successful journalist content with fulfilling her career ambitions. After being ghosted for a decade, Sunny meets with Tara on the very day that her husband, a tech CEO, is caught in a sting operation. Unbeknownst to each other, both women were abused by the same man, and they remained silent for different reasons.

One has chosen to fight back on this day while the other contemplates giving up. With unspoken words, they recognize each other’s trauma and resolve to liberate themselves from their stains. I made this film as a call to action for all women trapped in abusive marriages to choose self-preservation over self-sacrifice. Given the recent incident of an Indian American woman in New York, who ended her life of daily abuse at the hands of her spouse, my film is sadly even more relevant today, as the South Asian diaspora engages in assessing its collective responsibility in bolstering our patriarchal values.

Artistically, I’ve been inspired by directors like Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta whose portrayal of the feminine is, both, delicate and hurt; restrained by society, yet screaming to break free. My exploration of the female mind strives for a similar balance between social constructs and independent thought, while also provoking reflection through metaphorical artwork and ornamentations placed in a frame. In “Stain Resistant, ” when my young protagonist is being coaxed to accept her fate in an arranged marriage, I use the crushing action of a mortar and pestle to emphasize the stronghold of society on this girl’s choices. The metaphor of stains and the festival of Holi are referred to throughout this film.

Shruti Tewari

During Holi, the vibrant festival of colors celebrated in India to mark new beginnings, one is
accustomed to dealing with superficial stains on our skin, our clothes, and even our homes. While these are quickly glanced over and forgotten, the colors on our souls continue to impact every subsequent decision in our lives and have been put under the magnifying lens in this film.

I am also drawn to reflective surfaces, not just to showcase the inner turmoil within a character’s journey, but also to magnify the multitudes we carry within us as products of two different cultures. In my films, I like to include imagery that alludes to the endlessness of certain aspects of society, such as patriarchal value systems that have weighed upon women’s choices for countless generations. Through such depictions, my hope is for the audience to identify similar patterns of suppression of choice in their own lives and confront their own convictions in the process. Overall, my filmmaking approach centers on the gentle revelation of egregious occurrences and their impact on a character’s choices through poetry, metaphor, and cultural nuances defying stereotypes.

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