New Internationalist

Peepli Live

November 2010

written and directed by Anusha Rizvi

Natha is poor, in debt, and about to lose the family farm. Thankfully, though, the Indian government has a scheme that will save the farm, if at some personal cost: indebted farmers who commit suicide can get 100,000 rupees compensation. What generosity – some 200,000 Indian peasant farmers have committed suicide in the past decade! Natha, worth rather more dead than alive, elects to kill himself.

A grim topic that Rizvi opens up with a witty, merciless piss-take of buck-passing, sycophantic politicians and patronizing, sensationalist TV reportage. Everyone has interests. Somehow, no-one has more than a passing interest in the have-nots.

A funny, sad and haunting comedy.

This column was published in the November 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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