Posted by Fenil Seta
Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 13, 2017)
Shabana Azmi makes a cameo appearance as herself in filmmaker Sanjoy Nag’s Hindi-English bilingual, Good Morning Sunshine, which also features Revathy, Rituparna Sengupta, Shweta Tripathi and Tejaswani Kolapure. She shot for the film at Chunar, a town and municipality in the Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Sanjoy, whose debut feature film Memories In March had bagged the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English, remembers that while they were setting up the shot, Shabana would go around the village motivating the locals. “The film highlights the lack of dignity for women in the social space and Shabanaji’s character encourages the movement and gives it a final push,” says Sanjoy whose ‘toilet drama’ revolves around a real girl, Priyanka Bharti, who refused to defecate in the open, flagging off a movement to ensure sanitation facilities for women in her village and those around it.
While Priyanka plays herself, Shweta is Leelavati, a character inspired by her while Revathy was roped in as an actress who weaves the film together.
Speaking about the film, Shabana says that when Sanjoy gave her a narration she realised that the dialogues were more or less what she would say for real. “Girls are dropping out of school and women forced to go to the fields are subjected to rape, kidnapping and other heinous crimes. This is where the strengthening of the panchayat comes into play, something which Gandhi advocated, but we haven’t achieved it still,” the actress-activist points out.
Sanjoy instead of creating artificial sets in the village opted to build proper toilets, leaving them for the villagers to use after the shoot wrapped up.