Karishma Dev Dube’s BITTU – A must see and in-depth perspective of a true story

Under the guise of a typical school day, an entire community became forever changed by a tragic mass death. Based on a horrific accident in 2013, Bittu recants an incident at a primary school in India who accidentally fed their student’s pesticide-contaminated food. Dozens of children grew ill, and over 23 sadly lost their lives. Indian Writer/Director Karishma Dev Dube provides an in-depth perspective of the incident by introducing multiple storylines in her film; helping unaffected audiences, feel the impact of the loss as it happened in their respected neighbourhoods.

The inclusion of silly arguments, school fights, childhood embarrassment, and school punishments connected audiences with the children. Who were once upon a time in a similar setting. Bittu and her best friend Chand displayed opposite skills sets in school, leaving room for jealously in their relationship. Although many can relate to an argument leading to a commitment to never again cross paths, it’s rarely considered that the promise would reign true. While Bittu’s stubbornness and recluse behaviour may have saved her life, it also cost her her final memories with Chand. Dube brings awareness to a painful event and advises audiences to reconsider any grudges they may hold; reminding viewers that anger eventually leads to resentment.

Shot in the foothills of the Himalayas, cinematographer Shreya Dev Dube captured a beautiful display of culture and camaraderie in the community. Shreya’s feature-length film Cat Sticks was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Mammoth Lake film festival and premiered at Slamdance. She is currently shooting a feature film for AK Pictures to be premiered on Netflix. Born in raised in New Delhi and based in New York Director Karishma Dev Dube received the Dean’s fellowship to attend the Graduate Film Program at NYU. Her initial film DEVI premier at 57 international film festivals and has been featured on the Advocate, BBC World, and The Wrap’s Shortlist. Co-director, producer, and cinematographer Mary Evangelist (Pronouns: They/ Them) is based in Los Angeles and also attended NYU at the Tisch School of Arts for writing and directing. They grew their success from their award-winning film Fran This Summer and are currently developing their debut feature film Burning Well.

A beautiful film based on a true story, beautifully shot and well acted. One of our favourites here at Film Business. Bittu should go all the way to the top with a promising career for the young director Karishma Dev Dube.

Yasmeen Johnson


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