On June 30, 2014 by danielhalsall in Commissioned Work, Documentary


Meeta is a true story which is narrated by ‘Meeta’ herself and portrayed by an actress.
Life is hard for Meeta who lives in a rural village. She dreams of becoming a star, a Bollywood actress or singer. Financial hardships cause Meeta to find comfort in a new friendship with a neighbour from her village. Unfortunately, not very far into their friendship her neighbour lures Meeta to Mumbai promising her a job, maybe being able to be a dancer even. Her friend drugs her and she wakes up in a brothel. At this time Meeta, who is fourteen is forced and expected to ‘service’ around ten customers a night.


Meeta was a special project, commissioned by Justice and Care. I was edited the project. We had quite a large amount of material: around five hours of interview all transcribed from Marathi and film-material into the double digits of the actress portraying Meeta. It’s great to have a good amount of footage, but it can be very time consuming too.
How do you portray something as brutal as the rape of an underage girl? How do you make people really care for the characters?
I experimented with different styles, contrasting brutal moments with calm images and pleasant music which caused a tooth grinding disconnect. I tried to show big turning points and decisions throughout her story by editing them in a similar recurring way, which had a interesting effect.


We had several test screenings for the documentary which really helped seeing what had an effect on people and what didn’t, then improving it and building on that. It was a great project to work on, an experience in which I grew very much as an editor. I would scrim through the footage often picking out things before the action or accidental moments that were recorded, I really learnt about the flexibility of footage and power of the ‘Kuleshov effect’.