The List

Nominated for Best Student Doc

Directed by

Vishakha Gupta

18' • US • 2020

Bengali, English, Hindi

The List is a story about a citizen’s registry in India’s northeastern state, Assam, that has pushed nearly two million people closer to statelessness. The film looks at what it takes to prove one’s identity as an Indian citizen to continue living in the only place they know as home. The National Register of Citizens or NRC is unique to Assam and is meant to identify those accused of being illegal immigrants. To be included in the list, each of the 32 million applicants had to provide government issued documents to prove that they or their ancestors came to India before Bangladesh’s war of independence from Pakistan in March of 1971. But the four-year long process of creating the list was marred with errors and has left members of the same family standing on two sides of the citizenship line. This story is about the wave of anxiety that has gripped the people of Assam whose distress fueled nationwide protests when in late 2019 the Indian government announced its plan to create a citizen’s registry for the whole country.