The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs (Laila aur satt geet). 2020. India. Directed by Pushpendra Singh. In Gojri, Hindi; English subtitles. 98 min.
Based on a folktale by Rajasthani writer Vidaydan Detha and poems by the 14th-century Kashmiri mystic Lalleshwari, The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs follows Laila, a young woman who reluctantly enters a marriage with a nomadic shepherd and finds herself courted by a relentless and lustful cop. The witty heroine deploys subtly comical trickery with deadpan precision to evade advances and maintain her own independence. Set in the contested Jammu and Kashmir, fought over by two rival states, Pushpendra Singh’s fourth feature is an enchanting, cleverly conceived, allegorical feminist fable.