Meghnath & Biju Toppo/ 37min/ 2015/Hindi with English subtitles
Filmmakers Meghnath and Biju Toppo will be present
for interaction after the screening
For centuries, there have been people who have laid down their lives taking side with the oppressed. This is the story of Sr. Valsa John of the SCJM order, born on 19th February 1958 in Edappally, Ernakulam district of Kerala. She joined the SCJM congregation in the year 1983. Valsa decided to work among the Santhal tribe of Jharkhand, who were fighting for their rights over land, water and forest. She led the people’s movement, Rajmahal Pahar Bachao Andolan, for 15 long years against the oppressors of the people. She was brutally murdered by the mining mafia on 15th November 2011 in the anti-displacement struggle against the PANEM company in Pachuwara village in Pakur district. She was the third leader who was killed during the same struggle.
About the directors
An award-winning social-issue documentary filmmaker, Biju Toppo is one of the first Adivasi filmmakers to have effectively used the camera and new media technologies to represent the point of view of the indigenous community of the country, which is largely unseen in the mainstream media. Together with Meghnath he is part of the core team of Akhra, a group working in the field of culture and communication in Jharkhand. In addition to filmmaking, Biju also teaches film studies at St. Xaviers College in Ranchi, India.
Meghnath is an activist working in Jharkhand for the last 25 years. He is a part of the core team of Akhra. He has been an active participant in many struggles against destructive development. As a filmmaker he tries to document voices that remain unheard. Currently he is a teacher of Mass Communication at St. Xaviers College Ranchi.
The two of them have made several documentaries together including Iron is Hot (2007), Gadi Lohrdaga Mail (2006), Kora Rajee (2005), Development flows from the barrel of the gun (2003) and others.
Directors: Meghnath and Biju Toppo
Production: Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace