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59 min/India/USA/Denmark/Finland/2007


“What sin did I commit to be born a woman?” Lakshmi wonders aloud. A 21- year-old housemaid in Mumbai, she works ten hours a day, seven days a week. One of her employer is Nishtha Jain, who begins to make a documentary that explores their relationship. Nishtha films Lakshmi at home, and at work in various houses. Lakshmi's is a precarious existence to begin with; illness and romance compound her problems in unexpected ways.


Nishtha films through a year and a half of dramatic changes. The process of filming has its own impact on the unfolding events and on their relationship. As Nishtha is drawn deeper into Lakshmi's life, she is forced to question many of the things she has taken for granted.

Broadcast on PBS, YLE, DR2, SV2 and several other TV channels.

International Premiere at IDFA, the film went on to be screened over 90 film festivals across the world.

Written & Directed by: Nishtha Jain

Executive Producer, Steps India: Iikka Vehkalahti

Producer, Raintree Films: Smriti Nevatia

Co-Producers: Karoline Leth, Kristiina Pervilä

Editor: Rikke Selin Lorentzen

Cinematography: Deepti Gupta, Rakesh Haridas

Sound: Subhashis Roy, Indrajit Neogi

Sound Design: Niraj Gera

Music: Mads Nordheim, Mangesh Dhakde

Presented by Steps India

Produced by Raintree Films

Supported by

ITVS International, USA

Tju-Bang Film, Denmark; Danish Film Institute

TV2, Denmark

Danidas Oplysningsbevilling

Danish Center for Culture and Development

Millennium Film, Finland


Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland

YLE TV 2, Finland

Embassy of Finland, New Delhi


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“Films like Lakshmi and Me ought to be shown on prime time television, in housing societies in schools and colleges in a city like Mumbai. As a society, we are becoming increasingly blind and indifferent to the existence of people who hold up our homes, our lives, our cities. Such films should help open our eyes and our minds...” - Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu magazine, India

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