Documentary

Deepali

The story of a young Indian girl whose climb to the peaks of Himalayas in 1967 inspired women everywhere. 50 years later she returns to the mountains for one last expedition deep into the Himalayas.

Deepali

Director: Anne Svejgård Lund
Producer: Puk Lodahl Eisenhardt
Executive Producers: Cem Serter, Mike Lerner & Thor Hampus Bank.

Length: 80′ min.

Supported by: The West Danish Film Fund

Looking for:
Gap financing
Sales & Distribution

Description

Deepali is the story of the remarkable woman Deepali Sinha who became the first Indian woman to climb a Himalayan mountain with an all female crew in 1967. so years later, at the age of 72, Deepali is determined to return to the mountains. In the film, we follow Deepali as she leads her team of 3 ladies, from the original team across India from their hectic big-city lives in Kolkata and into the deserted mountain areas of Himalaya where memories of the past are layered in every glacier, every vista, and every river.
While husbands, sons, and grandchildren hold their breath as the ladies embark on a journey of a lifetime, the team of audacious grandmothers navigates through the hazardous terrain in jeeps across rivers, past temples and glaciers surrounded by the peaks of their youth. The ladies bicker, fight, tremble and wobble as the air thins and memories begin to return. Because Deepali, it turns out, has a particular reason for wanting to retrace the original journey. 50 years ago, on the first expedition, one of the team members was killed in an accident and while the aging team search for her memorial stone by the river, the dramatic story of what happened that fateful day in 1967 is unfolded. Eventually Deepali is forced to come to terms with the role she played in the accident and to accept that even great leaders sometimes make mistakes.
The journey is however also an occasion for Deepali and the other team members to look back on a long life struggling to combine their responsibilities as housewives and their dreams of adventures. Through Deepali’s spotless memory we are taken back to India in the 196o’s, when Deepali needed to struggle to circumvent the strict norms of a conservative society in order to bring her team of female mountaineers to the liberating peaks of Himalaya. And through anec­dotes of Deepali’s tomboy childhood, the loss of her mother and her peculiar friendship with Indian Prime minister Indira Gandhi, we come to understand some of the moments that defined the destiny of this courageous female explorer, who pushed the boundaries of what women are considered able to do.
Deepali is a history of the life of women in India over the last so years, but it also a tale of sis­terhood, pushing yourself beyond your limits, and standing on top of a mountain at the end of your life, looking b on what has been achieved and ahead at what can be achieved by our daughters.

If you are interested or want to know more about this project feel free to contact producer Puk Eisenhardt on email or at +45 22129474