Punam looses her mother at the age of 5, but has little time to grieve. She is expected to take over the running of the household, and care for her 3 year old brother Krishna and newborn sister Rabina. Her childhood is set aside, so she could guide her siblings through school and life, while her father works long hours to support them. During the next 15 years, she learns how to reconcile her mothering role with her longing to remain a child and her desire for schooling. She learns to balance her wishes against the constraints of Nepalese society, the limited opportunities for a poor, low caste family, and her father’s traditional views. From an early age, Punam aspires to become an educated, respected person with the means to make things better. Her courage, strength, and determination are driven by her unconditional love for her siblings, and her desire to create a better life for her family and herself. Punam, now 20 years old, stands unique, defying statistics and forecasts, shocking even herself. Despite her father’s demands, she is preparing to take the entrance exam for university.
Punam’s growth from a shy and reserved 9-year old in 2005, into an outspoken and determined 20-year old woman in 2016, is the foundation for a motherless girl’s resilience against a rigid caste system, numerous socio- economical hardships, an entrenched patriarchal society, her father’s traditional expectations, her sister’s disability, and even an earthquake.
Norwegian title: Didi Punam
Genre: Feature length documentary
Length (est.): 80 min
Estimated release: 2017
Directors: Nataša Urban and Lucian Muntean
Producer: Ingvil Giske
Financing: The Norwegian Film Institute, seeking further financing