‘To Kill A Tiger’ is Powerful, Yet Overlooks Its Women

The Oscar-nominated documentary follows a father seeking justice for his daughter, a survivor of a brutal rape. But its women rarely get the spotlight.

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Still from 'To Kill a Tiger'

Snigdha Sur


March 8, 2024


7 min

You hear birds chirping, bells ringing, and the calm waters of a lake rippling. A woman walks a goat, a man farms, two girls walk together with a bike, a rooster crows, and a woman combs her hair and braids it. This is Bero, the village in Jharkhand, India, where only months before, a horrific incident took place: the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Director Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill A Tiger brings us along on the girl and her family’s fight for justice. The documentary’s executive producers include Atul Gawande, Dev Patel, Mindy Kaling, Rupi Kaur, and others — so many luminaries that Kal Penn joked at a South Asian Oscars party that he was available if Pahuja had only asked. The film, nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, tells a story that will leave you in tears. But it’s also one that will leave you frustrated, with far more questions than answers. Who gets to tell this story? And what will it truly take to change a country?

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