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The Hour of Lynching: the killing of Muslim cow farmers in India

Published on: Fri 24 May 2019 Written By: Charlie Phillips
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/may/24/the-hour-of-lynching-the-killing-of-muslim-cow-farmers-in-india?fbclid=IwAR3j8hjUoAtjUu9-VGKgZgKOdtXQHpKFW4yK_evrGd9v-XIGE4K0n4gDOyE

A new Guardian documentary examines vigilante violence against Muslims in India through the story of Rakbar, a farmer killed by a Hindu mob

Murdered farmer Rakbar, from The Hour of Lynching documentary
Murdered farmer Rakbar, from The Hour of Lynching documentary Photograph: Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya for the Guardian

Rakbar, a Muslim dairy farmer, was murdered by a Hindu mob who thought he was taking a cow to be slaughtered for meat. His wife, Asmeena, must undergo an intense iddat (mourning in purdah) and their daughter, Sahila, is forced to abandon school to take care of the household.

While the family falls apart, the hate machinery of rightwing Hindu nationalists – politicians and lynch mobs – works overtime to legitimise the killing. Set in a remote village in India, The Hour of Lynching sheds light on a global problem: communities turning on “the other” – sometimes with extreme violence

This film is produced in partnership with Field of Vision

The directors, Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, are Indian filmmakers and photographers whose work includes Cannes film festival award-winning The Cinema Travellers, about a touring cinema in India, and Searching for Saraswati about the battle over a holy river. They also made The SlumGods of Mumbai for Guardian documentaries in 2014.

Coming up: Buyers Club

The story of a group of activists who are turning the healthcare world upside down. Led by Greg Jefferys, an unassuming retired teacher living in Tasmania, Australia, and his Indian collaborators, this group has set up possibly the world’s largest and most intricate buyers club to distribute life-saving low-cost Hepatitis C medicines to the rest of the world

Released 31 May

Greg Jefferys in Buyers Club
 Greg Jefferys in Buyers Club. Photograph: Clément Gargoullaud


The programme for Sheffield Doc/Fest has been announced and our feature-length documentary Seahorse will have its UK premiere there.

The film is about Freddy, who is 30 and yearns to start a family but this poses unique challenges. He is a gay transgender man. Deciding to carry his own baby took years of soul searching, but he was unprepared for the reality of pregnancy, both physically and challenging society’s fundamental understanding of gender and family. We’d love to see you at the film’s first UK screenings.

I’m also excited about a new film by – and discussion with – the visionary director Jenn Nkiru, a hit US documentary about the Satanic Temple called Hail Satan? and Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona film. I recommend One Child Nation, a shocking reckoning with the impact of China’s one-child policy by Nanfu Wang, and and The Brink, a takedown of Steve Bannon featuring the Guardian’s own Paul Lewis.

For more documentary recommendations, read my report from HotDocs.







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