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Prizewinning Film Directors in Sutton

The two directors Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl were present at a Sutton for Peace & Justice showing of their prizewinning documentary film, “Dammed” on 29 May. At the end of the showing they spent time discussing the film with the audience.

The film follows a group of poor Indian villages displaced by a dam project on the Narmada River and their fight to obtain compensation to help them relocate and maybe gain a little benefit from their sacrifice. One village used a very imaginative way of protest to attracted media interest and shame the politicians who opposing them. They sat in a shallow part of the river and challenged the government to flood the valley and drown them. When police were sent to forcibly remove the men and women from the water they then spread the protest to the more than 400 villages suffering the same fate. At the conclusion of the film they were still waiting for their compensation but still fighting on.

NARMADA1

The Narmada Bachao Andolan, The Save the Narmada Movement, grew out of these protests and managed to get the World Bank to withdraw its $450 million support for the project because of its environmental and social impact. A number of our banks may now be involved in supporting the building work. The Narmada River project with its many dams has been described by a commentator as India’s Greatest Planned Environmental Disaster.

Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl have received numerous awards for their investigative and environmental films. You can find out more about them on facebook.

(Report by Mike McLoughlin)

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