Pink Saris

Kim Longinotto, 96 min, UK.

“If you’re shy, you’ll die.” This is just one of the catchy aphorisms uttered by the formidable Sampat Pal Devi, leader of the Gulabi Gang (a.k.a. the “Pink Gang”), the centre of this stirring film. Her base is northern India’s state of Uttar Pradesh, where entrenched tradition continues to condone child marriages, dowry deaths and abuse inflicted upon wives by husbands and in-laws. The Gulabi Gang seeks to help women from the lowest caste, known as dalits or “untouchables.” The female gang members assert their presence by wearing bright pink saris and make good on Sampat Pal’s assertion that: “there is no higher power than a woman.”