A conservative Indo-Canadian family in Williams Lake, British Columbia must come to terms with a devastating secret: three sisters were sexually abused by an older relative beginning in their childhood years. After remaining silent for nearly two and a half decades, the sisters decide to come forward — not only to protect other young relatives, but also to set an example for their own daughters.
Vancouver-based Filmmaker Baljit Sangra explores the impact of sexual abuse on a family, turning her empathetic lens on intimate moments as they process and heal. Full of nuance and layers, Because We Are Girls weaves poetically between past and present. We witness the emotional toll experienced by sisters Jeeti, Kira, and Salakshana, not only from pursuing justice through the courts, but also through confronting their parents for not protecting them as children. We also share in their happiness as the sisters bond with their daughters and dance along to their favourite Bollywood songs. The film intertwines touching home footage of the sisters as young girls with uplifting scenes of the strong, empowered women they have become.
We are very proud to open our 18th annual festival with this courageous film that celebrates the strength of sisterhood in the face of profound pain and trauma. In one poignant scene the sisters reflect on the cost of breaking the cycle of abuse. What’s ultimately revealed in Sangra’s powerful tribute is that the cost of remaining silent would be far greater. -SC
Runtime: 85 mins
Director: Baljit Sangra