Nagesh Kukunoor’s upcoming film Lakshmi deals with human trafficking and child prostitution but he believes that the film has a deeper purpose. To spread the message, inspire sex workers to find a way out of the flesh trade and to give them hop, Kukunoor hosted a special screening for sex workers at NFDC yesterday.
In association with Prerana Anti Human Trafficking Foundation, Lakshmi was screened for over 75 sex workers and foundation staff. Nagesh Kukunoor, Monali Thakur, Shefali Shah and producer Elahe Hiptoola were present for the screening and interaction along with Preeti Iyer, Founder of Prerana. Prerana is a foundation that works to end second generation prostitution and to protect women and children from the threats of human trafficking.
The sex workers had tears in their eyes while watching the film. They were open and frank while conversing with the cast later. They said that the movie was intense, but still an underplay as compared to what they and people they know have been through.
The women praised Monali Thakur’s acting and singing, and complimented Shefali Shah for her role as Jyoti. One of the women said, “Yeh movie hindustaan ke har kone me dikhani chiye,sab sudhar jaaege”. The women also praised Kukunoor for making the movie, but said, “Humne aapko picture me bahut gaali di”, speaking about his role as a pimp.
Kukunoor was delighted after the interaction, “Happiness and validation! The sex workers screening was fantastic! Best compliment for Lakshmi-‘not one thing was exaggerated or untrue!”