On Monday, May 6, 2016 the Asia Society hosted Swati Bhise's debut film SWORDS & SCEPTRES: THE RANI OF JHANSI.
The film based on a true story explores 1850s India which at that time was ruled by the British and the pernicious East India Company, discontent and rebellion stirs amongst the Indian people. In Jhansi, the province’s inspirational leader the Rani (Hindi for “queen”) seeks peaceful solutions, but to no avail.
As the British grow more aggressive, she has no choice but to fight for her kingdom and lead her troops to preserve their freedom. Thousands of miles away, Queen Victoria, ruler of the British Empire, seeks a resolution to the escalating situation with minimal force.
But after a bloody siege at Jhansi fort, during which many lives are lost, the Rani becomes a growing symbol of Indian resistance. Gathering alliances, she must lead her people into a battle that will ultimately change the shape of history.
The story display a tale of a strong woman who was willing to fight for her people which was very empowering and the director, Swati Bhise truly embodies this attribute.