#TBBdoesRAINDANCE2015 Michael Scott Reviews ‘Driving With Selvi’ for TBB

driving_with_selviThis documentary, by Elisa Paloschi, is – ostensibly at least – the story of South India’s first female taxi driver (focusing – as it does – on the will and indomitable spirit of this young lady within a culture that traditionally subjugates women and holds them back). The stories it actually tells include those of betrayal, abuse, heartache, joy, true love, and redemption. So far, so stock (!)

The film starts off with Selvi telling us of her last-second decision not to throw herself under a moving vehicle; instead she – quite literally – catches the bus and rides away from her troubles.
We are then told of her being taken in by a local welfare organisation (‘Odanadi’), and given the self-belief to become a local taxi-driver.
After that – through a series of narrations, straight-to-camera interviews, documentary set-pieces, and travel footage – we chart her development from 18-year old ‘survivor’ through to married woman, mother, and (presumably) soon-to-be driving entrepreneur.

The interviews are sensitive towards her emotional and physical abuses (married at 14years old); at times, the look in her eyes is enough to tell us of the horrors that she must have faced as a child-bride. At other times, she tells us candidly of atrocities both general (India’s treatment of its female children and the ‘dowry system’), and personal (betrayal by her own family-members). For the most part, she shares these insights and recollections with a smile and emotional strength that belies the narrative. Only once does she appear to ‘break’, giving a ‘no comment’ to a particularly loaded question; even then, we are given the (dreaded) details at a later date.

The tone of the documentary is deliberately balanced and non-judgemental; amidst the tales of misogyny, female infanticide, and sex-crimes are scenes of community support, cultural rectitude, societal kindness, and expressions of love from extended family-members. This is put to the fore in interviews with members of ‘Odanadi’. Translated as ‘soulmate’, this is an organisation in South India that deals with sexual violence against women and children. In some respects, the enterprise seems less an insight into a remarkable young woman (or even an expose’ of endemic cultural wrong-doing), than a very well-made political ‘call-to-arms’. This is not a criticism, per se.

The scenes where she is driving around are both fun and exhilarating (indeed they show Selvi at her most free). No doubt, this aspect of the tale is what may draw many people to the film; however, it is the static scenes – the moments of stillness with her husband, her daughter, or with herself – that prove the most… moving.

In conclusion, this documentary (filmed over 10 years) is a story of love. Not only does it show us Selvi’s love for her family and for her driving; it also highlights the filmmaker’s deep affection for South India, its women, and the men that truly support and care for them. In so doing, it reminds us that – in the midst of acute poverty and cultural atrocities, – there is a human strength, dignity, and perseverance that recognises neither borders nor gender.

This particular ‘drive’ is both personal and universal; get your thumbs out.

Rating: 4/5

Driving With Selvi screened at the 2015 Raindance Festival. To find out more about the Raindance film schedule go to: http://calendar.raindancefestival.org/films

For more information about Driving With Selvi please go to: http://drivingwithselvi.com/


review for the british blacklist by Michael Scott 


Leave a Reply
  1. Ronware says
    30 November 17, 2:32am

    Amoxicillin Clavulanic Acid Dose In Animals Acheter Levitra Generique En France viagra Vous A Durer Plus Longtemps Donde Comprar Pastillas Cytotec KamagraРІВ®

  2. Jeffvark says
    17 November 17, 12:14am

    Non Prescription Advair cialis Cheap Tadalafil Generic For Amoxicillin Is Keflex Good For Dental Infections

  3. body care says
    15 March 17, 6:26pm

    My relatives always say that I am killing my time here at web, however
    I know I am getting know-how everyday by reading thes nice content.

  4. 11 March 17, 1:19pm

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips for
    aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but
    I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. 25 February 17, 8:18am

    You can definitely see your skills in the work you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say
    how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  6. Danny says
    23 February 17, 11:17pm

    Hello! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

  7. 22 February 17, 9:51am

    If some one wants to be updated with most recent technologies after that he must be visit this web
    site and be up to date everyday.

  8. 12 February 17, 12:27pm

    Hey there I am so glad I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Yahoo for
    something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks
    for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have saved it
    and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more,
    Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  9. 11 February 17, 1:03pm

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back
    from now on. I want to encourage continue your great work,
    have a nice afternoon!

  10. 08 January 17, 2:40am

    Thanks for some other great post. The place else could anybody get that
    kind of information in such a perfect means of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such info.

  11. Alta says
    31 December 16, 10:18am

    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Best wishes!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

  12. Alisha says
    30 December 16, 10:50am

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your
    articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.
    Nevertheless think of if you added some great graphics
    or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

    Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could undeniably
    be one of the greatest in its niche. Great blog!

  13. 18 December 16, 3:11pm

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is
    wonderful, let alone the content!

  14. 27 November 16, 2:54am

    Howdy terrific website! Does running a blog like this take a massive amount work?
    I’ve absolutely no understanding of programming however I
    had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject nevertheless I just had
    to ask. Thank you!

  15. 04 November 16, 2:21pm

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.
    But think about if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips,
    this blog could certainly be one of the greatest in its field.
    Terrific blog!

  16. 24 October 16, 9:39pm

    I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link
    or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me realize in order that
    I may subscribe. Thanks.

  17. 17 October 16, 10:07am

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing
    the page layout of your site? Its very well written; I
    love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little
    more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  18. Brianne says
    14 October 16, 5:49am

    Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a stuff! existing
    here at this webpage, thanks admin of this site.

Leave a Reply