by Ashwini Gupte
MUMBAI, AUGUST 18, 2015: Film and theatre can educate, inspire and change social mindset on pressing issues. Students and staff of Don Bosco High School, Matunga were treated to a docudrama and a documentary, on the August 11 and 12, to do just that - to inspire, educate and produce social change.
1600 students - from classes that ranged from five to ten – watched a film entitled 'Saint John Bosco - Mission to Love', as part of the bicentenary celebration of the birth of Don Bosco.
The film which was shot in Turin, dramitised the many challenges that Don Bosco had to overcome from childhood, through to founding his religious order- the Salesians- to help educate boys.
Flavio Insinna played the role of John (Don) Bosco, the great priest and educator of youth. The movie sketched the life of the Saint who growing up without a father, developed compassion for the many orphans that he cared for.
He faced persecution from both secular society and the Church as he fought to build a place to house and educate the homeless, outcast youth of Turin. His deep faith, creative imagination and profound charity shine through in this wonderful film.
The following day, students of standards eight, nine and ten were shown a documentary, entitled 'Daughters of Mother India', that dealt with gender issues.
The film by Vibha Bakshi, a winner of the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues in 2015, portrayed a graphic journey through the aftermath of the horrific rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical intern, 'Nirbhaya' and the mass protests that followed.
It brought to light 'gender consciousness' and extraordinary solidarity by ordinary citizens.
The documentary also focused on the rape of a five-year-old, 'Guddi,' who was gang-raped and how she copes with life in the aftermath of the heinous crime.
After viewing the films, there was a discussion aimed at gender sensitisation in a bid to raise awareness of gender equality issues.
Teachers brought out the need for girls and women to be brave and to fight against societal ills, while it made boys aware of the importance of empathising with and respecting girls and women, bearing in mind the ultimate goal of gender equality in the Indian society.