Malala Yousafzai has expressed her solidarity with the message of menstrual hygiene in R Balki’s latest directorial PadMan. Plans are afoot to have a special screening of the film, especially for the Nobel Peace Prize winner, says the director.
“What can I say about Malala coming forward to support our film? We are blessed and honoured. It is voices like her that would carry our message in PadMan forward. Menstruation must not be swept under the carpet anymore. And we need powerful voices like Malala’s to carry the message forward,” said Balki.
He revealed plans of showing PadMan to Malala. “We are definitely showing it to her at the earliest, as soon as the logistics are worked out.”
For Balki, PadMan, which is about the man who invented the economical sanitary pad, is a leap into the unknown that he was initially reluctant to take.
“Firstly, this is a story of a real-life character Arunachalam Muruganantham. The fact that he really exists initially daunted me,” he said. “I don’t like making films about people who exist; especially those who are alive, as this puts tremendous pressure on the film-maker to replicate the real person without any offence to anyone. I would rather go into life stories that I conceive for cinema rather than a life that pre-exists.”
But then something made Balki change his mind.
“I decided to make an exception this time. I decided to do PadMan because the story of the man who thought of making the sanitary pad affordable to the middle class really inspired me. When Twinkle Khanna came to me with the idea, I was hooked.”
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