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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Projects | IRI THESys | News | Documentary Film Screening at IRI THEsys

Documentary Film Screening at IRI THEsys

On Friday July 3rd, IRI THESys researcher Theresa Frommen and filmmaker Katalin Ambrus held an online film screening and live Q & A.

The Indian slum ‘Khara Kuaa’ has a problem: their little water supply is polluted. Hydrogeologist Theresa Frommen is asked to help. But can Rekha Devi, Zeenat Begum and the other women learn the scientist's complicated methods? And is the scientist prepared to get involved in the social structures of an Indian slum?


On July 3rd, Theresa Frommen from Humboldt University (formerly Freie Universität Berlin) and freelance filmmaker Katalin Ambrus screened their two documentary films about a participatory and interdisciplinary hydrogeological project in India. The films were a result of the close cooperation between the filmmaker and scientist and includes the full-length documentary ‘Pani Check - The Sisterhood of Water’ (2019). The film delves into the lives of  Rekha Devi, Zeenat Begum and other illiterate women who work with Theresa.


The shorter educational film ‘Pani Doctors - Join the Sisterhood of Water’ (2019) sees the Indian slum ‘Khara Kuaa’ transform into a colorful theatre stage as Rekha Devi, Zeenat Begum and their neighbours unpack the scientific water test kit. An educational musical developed in collaboration with the women from two slums in Jaipur, who participated in a hydrogeological model project.


The individual stages of the collaboration between Katalin and Theresa, from getting to know each other to the planning of the film premiere, made it possible to identify factors that were necessary for the successful cooperation: Openness, honest communication, appreciation of all team members as well as an objective and goal-oriented approach. The cooperation was a personally and professionally enriching experience for everyone involved. The camera itself served as a research instrument and thus made new insights possible. The conclusion: more diverse ways of thinking and working are leads to a team and resources poised to solve problems in complementary and creative ways.


The films were be streamed over YouTube and were  followed by a live Q & A with Theresa and Katalin over Zoom to give an opportunity to learn more about the process, production and people behind the films.




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