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Pankaj Tripathi: Films can't alter reality but can steer conversation

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Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Actor Pankaj Tripathi says films cannot entirely alter reality but can steer a conversation that will subsequently change mindsets, systematically and over time.

In his latest release “Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl”, Pankaj plays a father who is also a feminist of sorts. The film, directed by Sharan Sharma, stars Janhvi Kapoor in the title role.

The actor always wanted to focus on a film like “Gunjan Saxena” — a tale of empowerment that aims to inspire young girls to strive harder to fulfil their dreams.

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“There was this beautiful line in the film that said — Plane ladka udaaye ya ladki… dono ko pilot hi kehte hain’. In a beautiful simple line, the film and its story simply smashed years of set gender roles. Being a father to a daughter myself, the story shifted something within me. I want more fathers to be like Anuj Saxena (his character) and more daughters to be like Gunjan,” he said.

The father of a 14-year-old daughter, Pankaj says the film reminded him of several stories of his female colleagues, acquaintances, even people in his family.

“I drew a lot from my own experiences for this film and kept recounting every instance of sacrifice I have seen women make to fit into gender normative roles assigned by the patriarchal society. Yes, probably films can’t entirely alter reality but they can steer a conversation that will subsequently change mindsets, systematically and over a prolonged period of time,” he concluded.

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–IANS

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