Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Writing with Fire

In the early aughts, a group of Dalit women — a group considered so low in the Indian caste system that they don’t even rank as part of it — decided to start a newspaper in Uttar Pradesh. — The fearless women became Khabar Lahariya — loosely translated as “news wave” — populate Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s documentary debut Writing with Fire. Armed with eagle-eyed filmmakers and compelling subjects, the film deftly blends the (inextricably linked) personal and professional sides of the journalists’ work, offering up a wide-ranging look at a vital outlet with so many stories to tell.

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Writing with Fire follows three reporters at Khabar Lahariya — and in so doing, portrays an India in flux. Times are changing, but not fast enough for these brave and idealistic women, whose mission to improve their corner of the world through their reportage invariably runs into resistance from officials, interviewees and their own husbands or fathers. Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, the documentary is best at offering a peek into the lives of Khabar Lahariya’s scrappy, self-made women, who are well aware that they are claiming for themselves a profession largely occupied by upper-class men. — Stories in Khabar Lahariya, which tend to focus on local issues and violence against women, often yield swift and real impact.

Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter

Language: Hindi
Subtitles: English
Length: 94 min
Age Limit: K7
Year: 2021
Production Country: India

Director: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
Producer: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
Production Company: Black Ticket Films
Editing: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
Cinematographer: Sushmit Ghosh, Karan Thapliyal
Music: Tajdar Junaid
Sound Design: Susmit Nath