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The Indian Witch Hunt

In the tribal belt of India, a spate of witch-hunts has created headlines. In villages around the region, women suspected of witchcraft are being hunted down and attacked. Some are forced to eat human excreta…others are beaten and stripped naked…many are brutally tortured and killed by enraged mobs. Over 500 cases have been reported in just the 1990’s and the witch-hunts still continue in villages all over the region. Are these women really witches…or is there something more sinister stalking this land?

The Indian Witch-Hunt is a one-hour documentary, which follows author and journalist Sohaila Kapoor.

Sohaila Kapoor heads out to the tribal region of Jharkhand in north India, to seek some answers. She investigates one brutal witch-hunt that has just taken place in this region. A teenage boy Gurudeo Mardi has been arrested for beheading his aunt Maina Mardi and carrying her head to the police. His statement to the police indicates that he believed his aunt was a witch. In many parts of the world, Guru would be a psychotic killer.

The film travels through the world of witchcraft and village black magic in an attempt to provide some answers. It meets a sorcerer and three witches who practice this dark art in secrecy. Through never before filmed death spells and graveyard rituals the film gives viewers a rare glimpse into a forbidden world.

As the film tries to unravel these mysteries the crew encounters people who claim that they perform dark, shadowy rituals to gain these powers, that they still hear voices, see shapes and forms. Practitioners of Tantra (form of witch-craft) insist that humans are truly capable of these extraordinary powers. Sages and holy men who dislike Tantrics also claim that the powers are real although they are used for dubious purposes. Could so many people be lying or have we all developed a common vocabulary?

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