Arya Rothe, Cristina Hanes & Isabella Rinaldi
India | 2020 | 89 min
Languages : Hindi, Marathi
Subtitles : English, French
Created in the east of India before spreading across different states, the Naxalites have been fighting since the 1960s for the rights of “Adivasis (tribal communities) and to a lesser extent for the “Dalits” (the low caste), both representing a quarter of the Indian population and living in extreme poverty. For New Delhi, they represent the biggest threat to the State's security, averted through a “pardon” policy, in exchange for their surrender. Somi is expecting a new child. Along with her husband, she has put down her rifle to live in a camp with other reformed fighters, and to offer their eldest, Dadu, the education they never had. Arya Rothe, Isabella Rinaldi and Cristina Hanes filmed in immersion over a long period their condition of ex-combatants as the spouses find themselves in an almost inextricable situation. The governmental “pardon” is limited to the incessant questioning of a past with which they are trying to break, further complicated by red tape. A Rifle and a Bag subtly shows the mechanisms of a hard-to-find reinsertion within a rigid social organisation, which is effectively holding Somi and her family as hostages.