Drawing a Line

Sama Pana

Activist Dutch premiere

Portrait of young Indian cartoonist Rachita Taneja, who counters persecution and censorship with humour and honesty. Amid an increasing government crackdown on freedom of speech, she takes on the Hindu-nationalist ideology promoted by the Modi government. Partly animated by Rachita in her minimal, deceptively simple style.

‘You’ll have to send a copy of this script to my lawyer,’ Rachita Taneja tells the filmmaker at the start of Drawing a Line. The reason: Rachita is facing legal problems because of cartoons she made about the Supreme Court. It caused her to be charged with ‘contempt of court’, for which she could go to prison. Her lawyer advises her strongly that these cartoons should not be shown, or their contents discussed, in the film. ‘It’s just stick figures,’ she wonders. ‘How is the highest court in the largest democracy in the world talking about my stick figures?’

Rachita’s Sanitary Panels is a popular cartoon series known for its sharp socio-political commentary, and it has captivated young, liberal Indians. While waiting for the outcome of the court case, Rachita seeks guidance and support from like-minded individuals dedicated to amplifying their voices. The film explores Rachita’s inner world and her creative expression, depicting a dystopian narrative where freedom of speech rapidly erodes. 

Nominated for the Activist award
All nominations

Credits

Director
Sama Pana
Producer
Hanne Phlypo, Estelle Robin You, Marion Guth, François Le Gall
Year
2024
Country of production
Belgium, Luxembourg
Type
Documentary
Duration
73 minutes
Spoken language
English
Subtitles
EN
Production company
Clin d’oeil films
World Sales
AUTLOOK Filmsales