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Documentary On Classical Dancer Sheema Kermani Honoured At Montreal’s South Asian Film Festival

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Social activist and classical dancer Sheema Kermani’s life and her fight to end social injustice has been visualised in a documentary which was honoured at Montreal’s South Asian Film Festival.

The documentary, With Bells On Her Feet, directed by Taimur Rahim, offers a peek into the classical dancer’s past.

The team behind the documentary received the Best Short and Audience Choice accolade at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal.

Rahim in an interview with media said that the film was a labour of love and Sheema Kermani’s many years of experience form the essence of the film. He added, “I hope that our youth be uninhibitedly allowed to express themselves, whether it’s dance or any other form of expression. May freedom, kindness and tolerance always prevail.”

In the trailer for the documentary, Kermani says that for her, there is a direct relationship between dance and liberation. “When a woman stands on stage to dance what she’s saying is: ‘Here I am, I’m not ashamed of my body, I am confident and I do not fear you’.”

She said that her journey had been a lonely one but what kept her going was the hope that future generations would embrace dance not just as an art form, but as a means to achieve peace, humility and beauty.

In an interview to Dawn, Kermani stated that she was taken aback and surprised when a handsome young man came to her, introduced himself as a filmmaker, and said that he wanted to make a short documentary about his life and work.

She added, “Nothing that I said would put him off and soon I was persuaded by his conviction and determination.”

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The classical dancer is also known for using her dance as a form of protest. In 2017, Kermani gave a passionate performance at the shrine of Sehwan Sharif after the suicide attack in February 2017 that killed 88 people.

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