The impact on lndian women of arranged marriages, child rape, the caste system and male violence is at the heart of the ﬁlm Bandit Queen, which has been banned in India. With the ﬁlm about to open in Scotland, cinemas in Glasgow and Edinburgh are considering ways to encourage Asian women who don‘t normally go to the movies. to see and discuss this controversial ﬁlm.
The Edinburgh Filmhouse hopes to ensure the ﬁlm is seen beyond the traditional white, middle-class audience of the anhouse circuit. ‘I think it‘s important we attract the Asian community and give people an opportunity to discuss the ﬁlm and these subjects,‘ says the Filmhouse's education ofﬁcer Shiona Wood. The Filmhouse has already had one women- only screening and is planning a series of workshops to discuss issues raised by the ﬁlm. The Glasgow Film Theatre is still ﬁnalising its plans. but says it is keen to generate awareness of the ﬁlm in Glasgow's Asian community.
Bandit Queen is undoubtedly harrowing. One Asian woman, who has lived in the UK for ﬁfteen years, was deeply shocked by the ﬁlm when she
Bandit Cucen: banned in India, shocking in Scotland
saw it at an all-woman screening. ‘l have never been exposed to that much violence, sex and swearing before.' says the woman, who wished to remain anonymous. ‘The ﬁlm had a big impact on me — it affected me for days.‘ Having lived in India until she was 2 l.
she says that as an Indian woman she has broken down many barriers and has come to regard the caste system as a way of keeping the working classes in their place. ‘l‘m a middle-class. well educated woman who has never seen an Indian village except on television.‘ she
Cinemas open up Bandit Queen debate to Asian community
says. ‘I think the issues in Bandit Queen need to be discussed from an Indian perspective. but it never occurred to me they existed within indian society.
‘Sceing the ﬁlm I suddenly realised how frightening the world is and I‘m glad I‘ve managed to live without having to confront those things.‘
Dharmcndra Kanani ofthe Lothian Racial Equality Council welcomes the Filmhouse‘s decision to make Bandit Queen its main ﬁlru for March, a move which he sees as acknowledging Scotland‘s black community. ‘The ﬁlm will be a learning experience for both black and white communities in Scotland.‘ he says. ‘The workshops will play an important part in encouraging the participation of black women of all generations to access space not usually taken up by the black corrununity.‘ (Gill Roth)
Bandit Queen opens in [Edinburgh on l’ri 3 Mai: with an Asian n'onien-(mly sereening on Mon 6 Mar at 10.30am. The workshops session is on Wed 22 Mar at 8.15pm. Details on 0/31 228 6382. 'l‘ltejilm opens at the GFI'on Fri [7 Mar. .S'eejeature
Mayfest is returned to the people
Will Mayfest 95 be a pale imitation or radical rethink? This year’s spring festival, the first under artistic director Paul Bassett, former general manager of the Citizens’ Theatre, is certainly going to be very different. In a back-to-basics shift after last year’s consultancy report, the festival is returning to its community roots and ditching a significant proportion of
the high-profile international work of recent years.
‘We believe that the way forward is through partnership,’ says Mary Picken of the Mayfest board, who denies that the change in direction has been motivated by the organisation’s £100,000 deficit. ‘It was something we wanted to do irrespective of finance.’ Picken points out that the board has long been arguing for improved relationships with Glasgow’s artists, venues and organisations, both professional and amateur.
No one denies, however, that money and time are tight. Although Mayfest is supporting visits from Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Kronope Theatre
Company from France, Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium, plus an international programme at Tramway, most of the money will be used to top up production budgets. The objective is a ‘bottom up’ approach to devising the programme, responding to what Claswegians want.
The new-look Mayfest may not appeal to theatre critics’ hunger for challenging eastern European theatre, but with a move to a £5 limit on most ticket prices, it may do a better job of engaging a broad cross-section of the population. ‘i’m confident that the people of Glasgow will respond,’ says Picken. (Mark Fisher)
Mayfest runs Thursday 27 April- Saturday 20 May.
The path between Glasgow‘s sprawling housing estate of Drumchapel and the afﬂuent suburb of Bearsden, is well- trodden by television documentary- makers. In light of damning evidence showing a direct link between poverty and ill-health, the Panorama team recently madejust this journey. highlighting that Drumchapel residents can expect to live ten years less than their Bearsden neighbours.
But according to a new BBC Scotland series, the story does not — and should not — end there. While acknowledging the bleak statistics of ill-health and poverty. Bodycounts will attempt to look beyond them, offering practical advice on how to beat the trap of unemployment, poor housing and lack of money.
Presented by Elaine C. Smith. better known as Rab C. Nesbitt's wife Mary, the four-programme series was ﬁlmed from a converted cafe in the heart of Drumchapel. Involving local residents. doctors and health workers. it shows
4 The List 24 Feb-9 Mar I995
Bodycounts: avoids ‘tinuer-wagsinn’
how people can in small, but effective ways. make their lives healthier on tight budgets.
Bodyeounrs producer Mandy Rhodes says the series aims to avoid the lecturing tones adopted by some other health programmes. ‘I feel none of the health messages seemed to get to the people that needed them — those in lower income groups,‘ she says. ‘Most of the messages are middle class and
Mrs Nesbitt digests advice on healthy eating
make assumptions about the way people live. They assume we all eat fresh fruit and veg and have choices about the kind of food we buy or where we live.
Consultant obstetrician at the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital. Dr Mary Hepburn believes there are fundamental flaws in our health care services. which means whole sections of the comnrunity are forgotten about. ‘It has been shown that people don't make good use of health care services in areas of deprivation.‘ she says. ‘The services don't really meet their needs and are not appropriate to their lifestyles.‘
However. she stresses people can help themselves in the simple. practical ways highlighted in I)’()(l'\‘(‘olitlls. ‘Wc do need changes at the policy-making level. but part of the struggle is to show people they can do something themselves.‘ (Kathleen Morgan) Bod'vcounts begins on BBC! on Sunday 5 March at l/.30am.
l Moral guardians After a private screening for members of the licensing committee, Glasgow City Council has decided not to add Natural Born Killers to the banned list. where it would have joined Romper .S'tonrper and The Life of Brian. ‘The ﬁlm is extremely violent but we do not consider that it will pose any harm to the people of Glasgow,‘ commented convener John Moynes.
I Rock city Plans have been conﬁrmed for another rock music event in Glasgow. following the success of last year‘s Sound City. Plans are still sketchy but it looks as if the event will happen in October with the pancipation of several of the city‘s music venues. I Peace process Edinburgh‘s annual peace festival opens on Friday 3 March. with events during the two week-long programme including marches. debates and entertainment. The festival‘s theme is ‘think globally. act locally‘. with the opening event linked to the United Nation‘s 50th anniversary. ‘Rcmembering the Vision of the United Nations Charter“ is at Edinburgh District Council chambers. High Street at 11.30am.
I Hooray for Hollywood The work of movie director and choreographer Stanley Donen will be the subject of this year‘s Edinburgh Film Festival retrospective. Donen‘s musicals. such as .S'ingin' in the Rain. On the Town and Funny Fare. are among the undisputed greats of Hollywood‘s golden age. The 70-year-old director will visit the festival, which will screen the classic musicals and many of his lesser known works.
I Directing traffic Plans fora new trafﬁc management system for the centre of Edinburgh will be on display in a mobile exhibition truck at the bottom of the Mound from Monday 27 February.