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A searing indictment of the institutionalised discrimination that condemns India's 150 million 'Untouchables' or 'Dalits' (people in revolt) to a life of degradation and serfdom. Hamermesh's direction quietly draws us from privilege to squalor, as we are forced to observe the daily humiliation suffered by toilet cleaners and road sweepers - all inevitably untouchables...The most eloquent testimony against the caste system comes from the Dalits themselves. In spite of their anger and grief, Hamermesh seems to win their confidence.

Rajan Datar on CASTE AT BIRTH for City Limits, June 1990


Mira Hamermesh's powerful documentary left little room for doubt that, in rural Hindu areas at least, the 'Untouchables' are still living in quasi-feudal conditions, condemned to follow the dirtiest and most degrading occupations, and even to semi-slavery.

Richard Last on CASTE AT BIRTH for The Daily Telegraph, June 1990
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