( O U T ) C A S T E
IS A 21-MINUTE AFI THESIS FILM
When a manual scavenger cannot continue her work emptying
non-flushing outdoor toilets for upper caste villagers,
her 11-year-old daughter must assume the responsibility.
DASI, a Dalit (‘untouchable’ caste) woman in a Rajasthan desert village, dehydrates one afternoon while making her rounds manual scavenging, emptying dry non-flushing outdoor toilets for upper caste villagers. This leaves AMRITA, her 11-year-old daughter, to finish this work and bring home the sustenance and water they both need to keep surviving. Can Amrita do this without entering herself into this quietly violent cycle of compliant abandonment?
(Out)caste is a short film about an entrapment between generations of women, dictated by a 3,000-year-old social hierarchy, and takes place during one such moment of transition.
This story is also about a girl and her mother. And a woman and her daughter.
I wanted to bring to the screen a character that I became obsessed with and one that seems to always have her story buried and forgotten. – The Dalit (‘untouchable’ caste) woman in 2016 rural India. Through this lens, we explore the internationally underrecognized modern perpetuity of the caste system and its very tangible daily ramifications.
Below the surface, and beyond this context, (Out)caste is also an exploration of flailing in the darkest depths of detachment and when a parent or child, by their very existence, keeps you afloat.
(Out)caste is a culmination of my personal experiences, travel, and literary fixations of the last 3 years.
From the Look Book