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Fiji Time: 2:26 PM on Friday 25 April

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Film focuses on plantation womens struggles

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, October 15, 2012

A LOCALLY produced movie about the hardships faced by indentured Indian women in Fiji was screened in Lautoka during the Fiji National University Fiji Film Festival.

The movie Suraji - Empress of the Sun that was written, produced and directed by university lecturer Dr Mohit Prasad was shot in various locations in the country.

At the premier, Dr Prasad said the film explored the multiple discriminations and sexual violence faced by plantation women.

The movie also depicts the womens struggle to overcome hardships that included suicide, violence and multiple violations to their bodies.

It also tells of their struggles to empower the women.

According to the producer, the film also shows the women's resolve and rebellion became central to the film.

The movie is also part of Dr Prasad's ongoing research interest. It started through his research on the plantation and colonial period of Fiji's history.

The title role is played by Shazia Janif who stars as Suraji backed by other local first-timers.

The film also features orginal recordings of translation of the folk song of the Bidesia by the late Jet Shri Krishna.

Bidesia refers to those who have left their homeland and traces its origins to labour migrations out of North India, particularly from where many of the early indentured labourers to Fiji came.

It features an original soundtrack of folk songs using traditional Indian folk instruments commonly played in Fiji.