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Pink Saris (Kim Longinotto: Vixen Films Retrospective)


“A girl’s life is cruel... a woman’s life is very cruel” declares Sampat Pal, the complex, unforgettable protagonist at the centre of Pink Saris, a film on female activism in rural India that won the Special Jury Award at Sheffield Doc Fest.

Married as a young girl into a family where she was beaten by her in-laws, the magnetic Sampat fought back and left her husband’s family to become famous as a champion for beleaguered women’s rights in the state of Uttar Pradesh, many of whom find their way to her doorstep, desperately searching for help.

Following her in extraordinary scenes, we watch Sampat thrust herself into the centre of family dramas amidst scores of spectators, convinced that for those who seek her out, her mediation is the only solution. Explosive and unflinching, with moments of unexpected light relief, Pink Saris is the study of a fascinating yet flawed, larger-than-life character whose orbit you can’t help but be drawn into.

Also showing as part of the Kim Longinotto: Vixen Films Retrospective: Pride of Place + Theatre Girls, Dream Girls + Shinjuku Boys, Divorce Iranian Style, Sisters in Law, Dreamcatcher


  • year. 2010

  • country. UK

  • run-time. 96mins

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 2.45PM

Film 3.15PM

A multilayered, psychologically complex portrait of both a woman and a moment
— Variety
Longinotto’s most dramatic film since the remarkably explosive Divorce Iranian Style...
— Screen Daily
Complex and ambiguous, but uncompromising... It is dramatic, as well as transformative
— IndieWire