Because We Are Girls


Scotiabank Theatre 4 Wed, May 1, 2019 6:15 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 13 Thu, May 2, 2019 1:00 PM
TIFF Lightbox 2 Fri, May 3, 2019 6:00 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:Persister
Film Subjects:Canada
Children & Youth
Families & Family Relationships
Gender & Sexuality
Survivor Stories
South & Central Asia
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Baljit Sangra
Producer(s):Selwyn Jacob
Executive Producer(s):Shirley Vercruysse
Writer(s):Baljit Sangra
Cinematography:Grant Baldwin
Composer:Genevieve Vincent
Sound:Eva Madden


Three sisters have spent years bracing themselves for the pivotal moment that opens this film: the final verdict in their trial against their cousin, their childhood sexual abuser. From there, the story returns to their memories of growing up in a large and insular Punjabi-Canadian family in the small mill town of Williams Lake, British Columbia. With unflinching candour, the sisters discuss their family's dark secrets and expose a toxic family culture that relied on female subservience and obedience. These roles, they acknowledge, have deeper roots and have in part been reinforced by the Bollywood films that have structured their fantasies of romantic relationships. While the film tells a difficult and confrontational story of abuse, it is also a celebration of the loving sisterhood that allows these women to demand justice for the wrongs of their childhood years. Aisha Jamal

Content notice: Film contains sexual violence trigger material.

Persister program presented in partnership with OXFAM CANADA.

Additional Information

  • NOW - 12 must-see films about and directed by women at Hot Docs 2019