A documentary set in Firanghi Mahal, an institution for rationalist Islamic scholarship founded in the late 17th century. Through two women, Sughra Fatema and her niece Khadija Ansari, it tells the unknown stories of women and their struggles to find their own ways of being in a time of dramatic changes. One wrote poetry to express herself and the other became a student activist who went to jail for being a revolutionary.
Uma Chakravarti is a feminist historian who has now also turned into a filmmaker. Her films relate to history, memory and the archive. Her first film “A Quiet Little Entry” explored women’s unlived lives during the national movement; her second film “Fragments of a Past” dwelt on a political activist who does not now remember her own past, and her third film “Ek Inquilab Aur Aaya: Lucknow 1920-1949” excavates memories to dwell on two women from Firanghi Mahal, a centre for rationalist Islamic learning in Lucknow. Sughra Fatema a poetess and her niece Khatija Ansari a student activist went to jail in 1949. Through their lives we see a moment of possibility for Muslim women at a time of great change.