Locarno Open Doors: Alka Raghuram’s BURQA BOXERS
BURQA BOXERS is a documentary about Muslim women boxers in Kolkata.
In a culture where beauty, delicacy, refinement and submission are the prized traits to the ultimate feminine career fulfillment– marriage, young Muslim girls learn boxing at a little club run by Jamil Islam, former boxer, in Kiddirpur, Kolkata.
Burqa Boxers tells the story of these warriors determined to knock out a few stereotypes. Lead by Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to be a coach and an international referee, it will be the story of three young women as they train for the state amateur boxing championship.
Pravin Sajda, twenty one, was the state featherweight champion but had to give it up due to lack of financial resources. Now, the state government job quota for women athletes is expected to open in 2012, but the job application requires current medals. Pravin is back, training to win, so she can be eligible, while her parents insist on marrying her off. If she wins, she’ll get a job with the police, “The most respect-worthy job in the world, because, then, people listen to you,” she says.