In remote parts of India, illness, poor harvest and bad luck can sometimes mean only one thing: a curse in the family.

Villagers will often consult an ohja, or witch doctor, who has the power to undo evil spells and identify people who placed the curse.

Sixteen years ago, Chhutney Mohato was stripped naked, beaten and nearly killed after she was accused of being a witch in her village in eastern Jharkhand State. She was forced to leave her home and all of her property.

Today, Mohato runs a small organisation in eastern India that helps women who have been lucky enough to survive a similar fate. Many women who are accused of witchcraft are killed by mobs of villagers.

This film unveils a volatile world of land conflicts and abuse of power where women and their families fall prey to false accusations and are driven off their land.

We meet women who tell first-hand how their lives have turned for the worse after being accused of being a witch and meet the people levelling the accusations against their neighbours.

As India modernises and gender roles change, some of these persecuted women are fighting back. But can they change traditional beliefs or will they succumb to the collective ignorance and abuse of power around them?


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Comment by Plinius on February 1, 2013 at 2:55am

Superstition is so difficult to fight - these people are very brave! Thanks for posting, Napoleon!

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