Sunday, December 10, 2017
TV and Media

Student's horrific rape inspires 'India's Daughter' documentary

LOS ANGELES — In December 2012, a 23-year-old medical student on the brink of a new life went to a movie with a friend. Within two weeks, she was dead of horrific injuries she suffered that night in a gang rape.

The tragedy is given careful and wrenching examination in India's Daughter, a potent documentary that airs p.m. Monday on PBS that's unsparing in detailing both Jyoti Singh's assault and the corrosive social and cultural attitudes that, as filmmaker Leslee Udwin sees it, share culpability with her attackers.

"They are not monsters, they are human," she said. "They've been programmed by what they've seen around them, what they've been told a good girl is, what manhood is. … They are not rotten apples in a barrel — the barrel itself is rotten."

It was the Indian public's outburst of anger over the attack, with Singh made an immediate symbol of the nation's too-often unanswered violence against women, that propelled TV and movie producer Udwin to take on her first documentary.

"I saw something utterly unique take place, and that was the response to the rape. As a rape victim, at age 18, I took it personally," said Udwin, who lives in Denmark. "I thought, 'How extraordinary that the world has not yet done this, has not yet shown a mobilization for something that is so prevalent in our world, so iniquitous and so completely abandoned by meaningful focus.' "

Her film, which has aired to acclaim in a number of countries, was banned from Indian TV in the interest of maintaining public order, according to authorities there.

"Making this documentary was my way of joining the protest, my way of holding a megaphone to those beautiful voices that I was so awe-struck by," Udwin said.

India's Daughter"is, as well, a sadly tender record of one life lost, that of a bright, beloved daughter.

On the day of the attack, a Sunday, Jyoti Singh was home from school with her studies just completed and an internship awaiting her. She was upbeat as she assured her parents that better times were ahead for her working-class family that had struggled to pay for her education.

"'Mum, dad, now you don't have to worry any more,'" her mother recounts her saying. "Your little girl is a doctor. Now everything will be fine."

That evening, Singh and a male friend went to see Life of Pi at a New Delhi mall and then boarded a private bus about 8 p.m. to go home, unaware it was filled with joy-riding men. They beat her and her companion, and then took turns raping Singh for hours as the bus moved through the capital city's streets.

Finally, the attackers shoved an iron rod into her body and threw their naked victims on to a road. Doctors operated repeatedly but couldn't repair Singh's massive internal damage and brain and other injuries.

Her last words, as recalled by her mother: "Sorry, Mummy. I gave you so much trouble. I am sorry."

There are no photos or video of Singh in the documentary. Her parents wanted her name to be known, despite India's ban on identifying rape victims, but have kept her image to themselves, with a single portrait hanging in their home, Udwin said.

But the film repeatedly shows viewers the entrenched attitudes that place responsibility for sexual violence squarely on its female victims, including a defense attorney who compares women to a gem that, if put on the street, "certainly the dog" will seize.

In a jailhouse interview, one of Singh's convicted attackers gets his chance to be heard.

"A decent girl won't roam around at 9 o'clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy," Mukesh Singh says. "Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes."

Appeals of the death sentence handed down against him and three others in the case are pending in India's Supreme Court.

Susan Sarandon, among the film's executive producers, says other countries including the United States aren't off the hook.

"What happened in India is so dramatic and such a loss and so horrifying, but it's happening all over," the Oscar-winning actor and activist said, then predicted optimistically that "the next century is going to be all about women and violence, and women in positions of power."


Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballBryant at Louisville7 p.m.ESPNUChicago State at Northwestern7 p.m.FS1Drake at Minnesota8 p.m.Big TenAlabama A&M at DePaul9 p.m.FS1NBAHeat at Grizzlies8 p.m.Fox SunPelicans at Rockets8 p.m.NBARaptors at Clippers10:30 p.m.NBANFLP...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulane vs. Florida StatenoonESPNU; 1010-AMLa Salle at Villanova1 p.m.FS1Women: Marshall at Florida1 p.m.SECArizona State at Kansas2 p.m.ESPNWomen: Texas at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPN2Women: SE Louisiana at TCU3 p.m.Fox SunSouthern at ...
Published: 12/09/17

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper featherweights: Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux9 p.m.ESPNSuper featherweights: Roman vs. Salido10:30 p.m.HBOCollege basketballDuke at Boston CollegenoonESPNUCLA at MichigannoonCBSMonmouth at KentuckynoonESPNUCoastal Carolina at South Carol...
Published: 12/08/17
This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

WINNERS: Tonya Harding The once disgraced Olympic figure skater is no longer on thin ice in the pop culture world. Harding joined Margot Robbie, who is playing her in the upcoming film I, Tonya, on the red carpet this week. While Harding pleaded g...
Published: 12/08/17

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballValparaiso at Purdue6:30 p.m.FS1Ohio at Maryland7 p.m.Big TenIowa at Iowa State8 p.m.ESPN2Howard at Georgetown8:30 p.m.FS1College footballAwards show7 p.m.ESPNGolfLadies European: Dubai Masters4:30 a.m.GolfPGA Europe: Australia...
Published: 12/06/17
Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

The Mahaffey Theater has canceled an upcoming performance by Garrison Keillor in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against the former host of A Prairie Home Companion.Keillor was to perform in St. Petersburg on Feb. 5, but the show's promo...
Published: 12/06/17
Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Sometimes a Templar Knight dies in your field and you have to return his master sword to the temple in Paris, because God's kingdom depends on it.All that happens to Parsifal (Bobby Shofield) in the first episode of History's new period drama Knightf...
Published: 12/06/17
36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

If you've loved period dramas for any length of time, you probably feel like you've seen them all. Not that there's a shortage of shows dramatizing any and everything from the 1600s to the '60s. But sometimes you've seen all Masterpiece and BBC curr...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: TCU at Texas A&MnoonSECSiena at Louisville7 p.m.ESPN2Wisconsin at Temple7 p.m.ESPNUWestern Carolina at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunKent State at Xavier7 p.m.FS1Loyola-Chicago at Florida8 p.m.ESPN; 620-AMAustin Peay at Ill...
Published: 12/05/17
What pop culture from 2017 made you most hopeful for 2018 and beyond?

What pop culture from 2017 made you most hopeful for 2018 and beyond?

Can we all just agree that 2017 has been a toilet fire of epic proportions?Seriously, between all the strife and discord and tragedy and loss, it feels like 2017 was engineered in a lab to feel like a kick in the shins from the moment you woke up in ...
Published: 12/05/17