Documentary filmmaker and TISS research scholar Somnath Waghamare, who recently made The Battle of Bhima Koregaon: An Unending Journey, is making his next film on the lives of Dr Gail Omvedt and Dr Bharat Patankar.
Titled Gail and Bharat The Story of Organic Intellectuals, the film sheds light on the two prominent anti-caste activists and intellectuals who have spent their lifetime fighting oppressive caste structures.
Dr Gail is an American-born Indian scholar, sociologist and human rights activist. She has published several books and research papers on anti-caste and women's movements in India, as well as Dalit-Bahujan politics. She has also lent her voice to environmental and farmer movements.
Dr Bharat, who is married to Gail, is the co-founder and president of the Shramik Mukti Dal, an organisation which fights for the rights of farmers and Dalit-Bahujans. He is also one of the leaders of Maharashtra's peasant movement.
Somnath's documentary follows Gail's journey to India, how she met Bharat, and became one of the torchbearers of movements which are largely ignored by the mainstream media in the country. The biopic also looks closely at the work of Bharat and his contributions.
The film has interviews and personal testimonies which capture the lives of this remarkable couple who live in a small village in Maharashtra.
Somnath, who has traveled with the couple extensively, is looking at crowd-funding to complete his film. He estimates the tentative cost to be Rs 3 lakh. His previous documentary on the violence unleashed against Dalit-Bahujans in Bhima-Koregaon was also crowd-funded.
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