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film review

Meera, a reporter at India's only women-run news organization, and her fellow journalists break traditions and redefine what it means to be powerful in the documentary Writing With Fire.Black Ticket Films

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Writing With Fire

Directed by Sushmit Ghosh, Rintu Thomas

Classification PG; 93 minutes

Available via the digital TIFF Lightbox starting Dec. 21

Critic’s Pick

I should start off stating my bias. I’ve been long interested in the work of Khabar Lahariya, a women-run news organization based out of Uttar Pradesh, the fourth-largest state in north-central India – especially because several of its female reporters also identify as Dalit, one of the many oppressed communities in India.

Writing With Fire, a documentary showcasing the important work done by Khabar Lahariya, as it navigates its way from a print format to a digital-first strategy, has strengthened my resolve to visit their office when I’m next in India.

The documentary centres around three women: Meera, an equanimous reporter, mother and leader; Suneeta, a slip of a woman who asks hard-hitting questions with a dimpled smile and maintains a serene composure in the tensest of situations; and Shyamkali, a hesitant reporter whose confidence grows over the three years that filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh take to document Khabar Lahariya’s transition as a media organization.

I’m fascinated by these women who cover dangerous ground – treading centuries of patriarchy and caste prejudice with measure and grace. I can’t wait to meet them in real life.

In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a Critic’s Pick designation across all coverage.

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