In an article about While We Watched, The New York Times reported about the documentary and said, “What, indeed, does a journalist committed to being the voice of the people do when it seems he might be talking just to himself?” This one line said so much about the documentary and what it tries to convey. The state of journalism, and how news has reduced to TRPs is concerning. However, there’s more to this tale, to worry about.
According to the makers, Ravish Kumar’s journey and While We Watched is an unfiltered story of the current scenarios.
Vinay Shukla, the director who created the documentary opened up about its release in India. He mentioned that he’s working hard to bring the film to the country. He added that he has gotten love from all the places, where it has released – in festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival and cities, like New York. While the nation hasn’t seen a theatrical release, news outlets who have been able to witness the documentary, had a lot to say.
The Quint wrote a letter to the documentary and its makers, it said, “This film is about that dilemma and about a dark reality that plagues Indian journalism and its newsrooms today – fear. Of layoffs, of shutdowns, of stagnation, of death threats and them turning real, and of having to compromise on the ideals that drove so many of us to this profession.”
The Scroll wrote, “Kumar faces online trolling, death threats on the phone and the existential dread of his trade: a cratering viewership. Kumar emerges as a lonely and harried, if doughty, figure fighting the good fight.”
People who have been able to watch the documentary in other countries were left with lingering thoughts about it. For many, it was close to home; for others, it brought a sense of urgency to mend the ways.
In the end, it’s usually art that conveys our collective truths.