Urmila: My Memory Is My Power


Susan Gluth
2016 | 87 mins
Country of Production: Germany
Country Featured: Nepal
US Premiere | Director in Attendance
Saturday, October 15 | 5:30 pm | Program F26

Urmila, a young Nepalese woman, frees herself from a childhood of unimaginable trauma with a fierce determination to reclaim her life and fight for the human rights of others. Sold into slavery at the age of six in her Nepalese hometown and subjected to brutal abuse, she emerges with a dream to end child slavery in Nepal. Now 25, she is working to graduate the 12th grade and possibly become a lawyer, a stepping stone toward her broader ambitions as an activist. She finds parallels in her experience as a slave and an aspiring professional woman as the pressures of expectation and systems of control in her field leave her feeling stripped of agency. Fighting against these limitations, she manages to effect change as she works to get into law school. Follow her quest for justice, self-actualization, and autonomy as this politically charged and deeply personal story unfolds. 

Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany New York


Re:Frame, My Perspective

"The camera decides what we are allowed to see on the screen. (I am talking about the original photography, not about digital effects or reframings). As a director and camerawoman the viewer participates in my point of view. He follows me on a journey. Through my hands, my eyes the film is told. There are lots of decisions one can choose when taking a picture. The angle, the grade, the height, the lens. The decision to pan or to prefer the still shot. How do you frame the picture? Since there is not so much time when you are in a documentarian situation to rethink all these aspects - you decide by heart and knowledge and experience. The brain has thought about all this long before the film is going to shoot. You just recall it at that one moment. Cartier-Bresson called it THE DECISIVE  MOMENT. You have to catch it if you want to touch people with your scenes. If you miss it, the scene is over. There is no "cmd+ Z" button. This is reality. No videogame. That's why documentary filmmaking is so precious.”

—Susan Gluth | Director, Urmila: My Memory is Power