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Woman Rebel

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Woman Rebel

Timothy Lubin reviews Woman Rebel, directed by Kiran Deol (2010, 37 minutes)

From 1996 to 2006, Nepal was wrenched by a bloody internal conflict that pitted a Maoist-inspired insurgency against a dissipated monarchy presiding over a weak parliament. Kiran Deol has produced a moving film that recounts this conflict through the eyes of Uma Bhujel, “codename: Silu,” a poor village girl turned revolutionary. Interspersing scenes of her in uniform in the People’s Liberation Army, archival footage of battles, insurgent training camps, and political events, and interviews with Silu and members of the family she left behind, we follow her rise from footsoldier to battalion commander.

When peace is negotiated in 2006 and the Maoists enter the political process, Silu is elected to the new Constituent Assembly. Now we see her as an increasingly confident and articulate politician, returning at last to her native village to be reunited with her parents and childhood friends.

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