Drawing the Tiger
Directed by Amy Benson, Scott Squire and Ramyata Limbu
At times trenchant and devastating in its observed truths, Amy Benson and Scott Squire’s first feature-length documentary follows a Nepali family over seven years in an immersive tableau of the human experience. Barely subsisting in a rural farming village and frequently fraught with domestic troubles, the Darnals are overjoyed when their beloved teenage daughter, Shanta, receives a scholarship from an American organization to attend school in urban Kathmandu.
While the filmmakers initially intended to capture an uplifting story with all the familiar, recognizable contours of Western philanthropy in a developing country, no one could have foreseen how the subjects’ lives would be overturned by an unfortunate, yet common, tragedy.
The filmmakers’ unwavering commitment to truthful storytelling achieves a rare, nonjudgmental respect for the lives of the people they observe. Enduring everyday fragility and embracing epic moments in equal measure, DRAWING THE TIGER ultimately questions the politics of documentary filmmaking — reminding us that there isn’t always a happily ever after in real life.
— Chanel Kong
Co-presented by: 3rdi South Asian Film Festival
Director/Producer: Amy Benson
Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Scott Squire
Co-Director: Ramyata Limbu
Executive Producer: Karol Martesko-Fenster, Julie Bridgham
Co-Producer: Kristin Ougendal
Editor: Fiona Otway
Subject: Shanta Darnal, Sushila Darnal, Kumar Darnal, Rabina Darnal