Film Screening: Sama in the Forest
Coralynn Davis, Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies, Bucknell University
Sama in the Forest delves into the subversive role women’s folktales can play in a patriarchal society. The film is set in Madhubani, a district in India’s state of Bihar, where a rich cultural identity extends from the mythical past into a globalized present. Maithil identity is passed on through its renowned painting tradition, as well as through its lesser known wealth of orally transmitted folktales. Women play a central role in both of these expressions. In a creative collaboration with local community members, we highlight the tale of Sama, a princess who wanders into the forest and befriends a young man, only to be slandered by a muckraking confidante of the king, who is also Lord Krishna, and subsequently cursed and banished by her father.