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To Kill a Tiger on TV

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To Kill a Tiger, movie, image,

To Kill a Tiger on TV
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(December 7, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Last December when Thom Ernst pulled together the Northernstars “Best in Canadian Cinema” list for 2022, the film he placed second was Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill a Tiger. It had been named Best Canadian Film at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, then went on to be honoured as Best Feature Length Documentary at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards, Best Documentary at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Best Documentary at the New York Indian Film Festival, just a few of the more than 20 awards the film has won since its run through the festival circuit. Nisha Pahuja was recognized for her work with the Allan King Award for Best Documentary by the Directors Guild of Canada and she was given the Vanguard Award at the 9th Annual DOC Institute’s Honours Awards.

NFB at VFF
From To Kill a Tiger: Ranjit, his wife Jaganti and lawyer Lakhan Lal. Photo courtesy of NFB

In a small village in Jharkhand, India, Ranjit (pictured above) wakes up to find that his 13-year-old daughter has not returned home from a family wedding. Calls are made, a search ensues, and a few hours later, she’s found stumbling home. After having been dragged into the woods, she was raped by three men, all of whom are known to the family. Ranjit and his wife go to the police, and the men are arrested. But the family’s relief is short-lived when the villagers and their leaders launch a sustained campaign to force Ranjit to drop the charges. They demand the girl marry one of her rapists—a tried and true community solution. This, they feel, is the only way to restore her honour and that of the community. Ranjit defies their edict and embarks on a perilous journey, navigating both the labyrinth of India’s courts and the rising dangers in his village.

To Kill a Tiger follows Ranjit’s uphill battle to find justice for his child. In India, where a rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent, Ranjit’s decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented.

Earlier this week, this compelling and impactful documentary was broadcast on TVOntario and on December 5th began streaming on both the National Film Board’s service as well as being available online from TVO. It runs 127 minutes and deserves your attention not because of its string of awards, but because it is a true story that needs to be seen.

Also see: Best in Canadian Cinema – 2022.

Northernstars logo imageRalph Lucas is a former broadcast executive and award-winning director in high-end corporate video production. The founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca, online since 1998, he began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.