I Am Belmaya

I Am Belmaya

classified 12A PS

Please note: This was screened in Oct 2021

Sue Carpenter, Belmaya Nepali
Belmaya Nepali
82 mins, Partially Subtitled, 2021, UK
Primary language

Born a Dalit (the lowest, ‘untouchable’ caste) in Nepal, and orphaned at the age of nine, 21-year-old Belmaya has given up hope of finding happiness. As a teenager she participated in a photography project at a girls’ home in Pokhara which impassioned and inspired her to change her discriminatory world through photography. But that opportunity was snatched away from her when the home locked away her camera, when years later she gets a second chance to train in documentary filmmaking, she grabs it and reclaims her voice.

I Am Belmaya is an extraordinarily intimate window into Belmaya’s world, giving an insight into the brutality of life for many girls and women in Nepal, and showing her determination to challenge social norms and transcend the life she was born into. The result is a rich portrait, interweaving observational material with footage shot by Belmaya, which challenges the traditional roles of director/subject, as she becomes co-director of her own story.