A documentary Are They Better Off by Aditya Seth, focuses on the matrilineal society of Meghalaya. The 60-minute documentary shows how the society rejoices when a girl child is born. The film took two years to make.
What is the film about?
The film showcases the lush landscapes of Shillong and Cherrapunjee. It tells the story of three Khasi women – Hulda Lind Kynta, Selinda Kharbuki and Jubelee Kharmujai. According to Khasi tradition, they inherit the family wealth and property as they are the part of the family for the longest period. But with economic development fuelling migration, the importance of traditional and cultural values of the society slowly diminish.
The Mumbai-based director started his career as an assistant director to Prakash Jha. His last project Bahadur: The Accidental Brave (2011), a documentary on Nepalese labour migration to Mumbai, won the award for the Best Documentary at the 2nd Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival in 2012 and the Best Feature Film (Non-Fiction) Award at The Indian Independent Film Festival in 2013.
Seth says, ‘This is one place where women are actually respected and preferred. The girl child is not discriminated against, or aborted or killed. I thought people should know about such a not-run-of-the-mill society.’