Selvi has an infectious personality. When she laughs, you laugh, and when she cries, you feel equal amounts of her sorrow and pain.
Driving with Selvi follows a young woman, who against all odds has carved out a new life for herself as Karnataka’s first female taxi driver.
The documentary opens with facts and figures relating to the hundreds of millions of young girls who are married before they turn eighteen, a third of which, are under the age of fifteen, with a large proportion from India.
From here, we know that Selvi is one of those statistics, and the details revealed later are hard to swallow.
Suicide was on Selvi’s mind, “I thought that if I died, I wouldn’t be able to prove myself,” she says of the turning point that changed her life.
Throughout the documentary Selvi continues to engage and delight us with her admirable strength, power of conviction and independent voice. And if anyone knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Selvi does.
Driving with Selvi is a story that comes full circle. Filmed over a ten year duration it tracks back to Selvi’s first driving lesson and returns to the woman that she has become today.
There are many different strands that run through the film, adding to the complexity and richness of Selvi’s story, and that of many women living in India under a patriarchal society.
Selvi proves to us all that change is possible, even within a system where cultural practices are deeply ingrained. She extracts the traditions that will aid her, and discards the outmoded rules that restrict her personal and emotional growth.
Fearless, bold, independent of thought, and courageous in ambition; Selvi embodies the traits of history’s most iconic female figures.
Director and cinematographer Elisa Paloschi directs her lens artfully to build visual and emotional layers that provide texture and equal amounts of light and shade.
Driving with Selvi is a powerful story about the importance of making choices and the drive towards freedom and happiness that any one of us can relate to.