I Am Belmaya
1 Hour 21 Minutes
Spanning 14 years, it follows the life of Belmaya Nepali as she takes up a camera to tell her story. Previously silenced, both in her marriage and within the patriarchal system in Nepal, the film documents Belmaya’s transformation as she reclaims her voice through filmmaking.
Born in a hill village near Pokhara, Nepal, Belmaya, 28, had little formal education. Orphaned at the age of 9, she moved to a girls’ home in Pokhara and there, discovered photography at age 14. This was also the catalyst for the feature-length documentary I AM BELMAYA, as Belmaya met her future co-director Sue Carpenter by participating in Sue’s ‘My World, My View’ photo project, exhibitions and book.
But then Belmaya’s world shut down. She fell back into a life of domestic drudgery and poverty, with an abusive husband and baby daughter. By the age of 21, she’d given up hope. Then in 2014 she got the chance to learn documentary filmmaking. I AM BELMAYA follows her growing passion for the craft and her battle for independence, in the face of violent opposition from her husband. This leads to a dramatic confrontation, when she finally takes the power into her hands.
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I Am Belmaya Trailer
Courtesy of Sue Carpenter
August 26, 2021