Ladies First (2017) Movie Script

Girls belong at home,
not on the sports field.
Sports are meant only for boys.
Girls should cook,
look after their home and raise children,
that's their role.
I won't allow my daughter to work.
If she wishes to,
she can work after marriage.
That's for her husband to decide.
I won't allow my daughter
to participate in sports.
Often I feel like answering back,
but then I feel
if I respond with words,
people might forget.
But if I respond with my arrows,
they'll never forget.
I hope girls in India
who face many obstacles
look at me for inspiration to rise above
their problems
and fight to follow their dreams
to pursue their ambitions.
My name is Deepika Kumari
and this is my second Olympic Games.
My ultimate goal is gold.
Because nothing is greater than this.
Once more.
Please don't say that.
Olympics, nothing is greater than this!
When you think about standing
on that podium
what goes through your mind?
Can you describe that hunger?
Obviously, no one fights
for Silver or Bronze.
Everyone dreams
of winning a gold medal.
You have to work extremely hard
to achieve that gold medal.
I always dreamt...
that the coach who taught me
when I'm on the
podium accepting my Olympic medal,
I would like to receive it from my coach.
Well, that's my dream.
And now,
another Olympics is approaching...
So I'm ready.
So, take us back in time. Tell us
about your background and your journey.
I'm from Ratu.
There's nothing for girls to do there.
I always felt like playing,
but my Mum never let me out of the house,
because I'm the eldest child.
I had to help with house work
like washing clothes and other chores
which is why my Mum never let me play
for fear that people might say,
"She's left her daughter out."
That's how narrow-minded they are.
My Mum works in a small village hospital.
There are no working women in Ratu,
only housewives.
-You see that yellow one?
-This one?
My Mum is my biggest inspiration. Like
her, I wanted to stand on my own two feet.
I loved stealing vegetables
from the fields, especially corn.
My friends and I were experts
at stealing vegetables.
Stolen food tastes so much better.
we would fry and eat this.
Mum left early in the morning,
which is why I'm closer to my dad,
as I've spent more time with him.
What are you doing?
There's no need for you to sweep the road.
My dad drives a rickshaw.
He's not very educated,
but he knows a lot about
the little things in life.
Whenever he speaks,
I just feel like listening.
We were very happy
when Deepika was born.
She was a healthy child at 5 kilograms.
She had curious eyes.
She was born on the roadside.
My Mum was never paid on time.
She would get her salary once
in three to four months.
That's why we had far too many problems.
There were days
when we didn't have any food.
Our house was made of mud.
Whenever it rained
or there was a thunderstorm,
the roof would leak.
So we would keep pots and pans
on the floor to avoid flooding.
We lived... in this half
and my Uncle and Aunt
lived in the other half,
They didn't like the fact that my Mum
worked and that caused a lot of fights.
At times, they would beat my Mum.
Yes, I used to beat her.
It's no big deal.
When she was three years old,
we passed by a roadside vendor
who was selling a small clay house.
We still have it.
So, Deepika picked it up and said:
"Papa, this is a helicopter."
She lifted the roof and said,
"Papa, you,
me and Mum will sit in this
and fly away from here."
I'm probably the only girl
who left the village at such a young age.
Girls have no opportunities there.
Their parent marry them off
by the age of 18.
If I hadn't left, I'm sure
I would have been married
off by 18 or 19.
I wanted to get far away
from that village life and escape from that
miserable situation.
I was 12 years old
when I first heard about archery.
Someone told me
about an academy in Seraikella,
and most importantly,
that it was free of charge. I didn't need to pay any fees also,
food and clothes were provided for.
When I first met Deepika in 2006
she was very frail.
She came with her parents.
The three of them traveled
130 kilometers on a scooter.
The coach said,
"She's so weak! How will she do this?"
Deepika got upset
and felt she'd lost her chance.
She took me aside and said, "Mum, may I
say something to him?" I said, "Go ahead."
She said, "Give me three months.
If I'm not good enough,
you can kick me out of the academy."
The coach agreed. I was very happy.
I wasn't really interested in archery
at the time.
I went there because my family condition
was very bad.
There were constant fights at home
due to shortage of money.
I thought, if I left home,
there would be one less burden.
This used to be our kitchen...
we used to store food back here
and cook here.
We used to wash the dishes over there.
We had three rooms.
There were no fans, just a bed.
No cupboard or any other furniture.
No bathrooms either,
we bathed in the river.
One day, my daughter fell ill.
She got boils on her body
because the river was like sewage.
We had to admit her to a hospital.
I felt terrible.
She faced many difficulties
there for a year or two,
before she got accepted at TATA.
When I was 13 years old
TATA Archery Academy were holding trials,
and I was determined to get selected.
My coach Dharmendra Tiwari,
he was in charge of selections.
She came to me and said,
"I want to train with you."
I said, "Fine, but you'll have to
follow my instructions."
She informed me that she had been
selected by TATA.
So, the bow she needed
was very expensive.
I told her:
"I'm a poor man,
where will I get the money?"
But somehow,
I scraped together whatever I could.
She was a naive village girl
who lacked confidence.
She didn't know how to eat, sleep,
or dress properly.
We taught her how to eat with a spoon,
and how to carry herself.
She used to keep to herself
and practice alone.
She worked extremely hard
to correct her flaws.
She shoots as many arrows as we ask her to
and she's a fast learner.
Her talent is nothing short of a miracle.
Within just one year of starting Archery,
she became the Cadet World Champion.
When I started archery, I had no idea
that it was a sport.
Slowly I started gaining interest in it.
Then, I was hooked.
I always wanted to do something
that got me noticed.
So people recognize me and say,
"That's Deepika."
Ms. Deepika Kumari.
To get one of India's highest
honors at such a young age,
I was so proud and had tears of joy.
From the moment Deepika flourished,
we've never had a shortage of money.
The house you see here...
I haven't spent a single penny on it.
I've built it with the money
my daughter gave me.
Why are you Deepika's biggest fan?
Because she's done our country proud,
and I want to be just like her.
She became World Number 1
in just three to four years
which is unheard of in archery.
The 2012 Olympics was the first time
I went to London.
I had high expectations because
I was World Number 1 at the time
and I was performing well.
So, I expected to bring home a medal. The ground was pulled from under my feet.
I felt it was over too soon.
I didn't get a chance to soak it all in.
The women's number one world archer,
Deepika Kumari,
has crashed out of the London Olympics.
If I wanted to act pricey,
I wouldn't have given any interviews.
I am tired. My head is hurting.
She felt demoralized after London
and became very negative.
She lost her place in the team,
and was very upset about that.
I used to cry all day in my room.
I went into depression.
I wouldn't eat, drink or anything.
I started performing badly.
My performance graph kept fluctuating.
I started losing hope.
I thought of quitting.
That was the time my neighbors
started to gossip.
"Where is she getting all this money
from?" "What is she really doing?"
That's how narrow-minded they are.
They still taunt my parents.
"You shouldn't have
allowed your daughter to get into sports.
You should have kept her at home."
I lost a lot of self-confidence.
In Europe, there's less gender inequality.
In India, the roles are clearly divided,
this is a man's job, that's a woman's job.
Therefore, women lack confidence.
You can see how confident women
in the West are from their attitude.
If we give our girls a chance
to come forward and express
themselves their confidence will rise.
In our country, even those
who are well-educated believe
the girls
cannot play sports.
In my opinion, they are crazy
because their thinking
is extremely regressive.
In my opinion,
people often throw around the term,
"ladies first."
So, when girls want to advance in life,
be it in education or sports,
why not say "ladies first,"
when it really counts?
Do they actually believe girls are weak
or incompetent?
I believe they are afraid of us
that if we are given freedom
we will surpass them and go so far ahead
they won't be able to see us at all.
There is so much pressure on her
to win a gold medal.
If it was me,
I would crumble under the pressure.
I don't know how she handles it.
When she's here at TATA,
she's sharp and focused.
But when she competes abroad,
I don't know what affects her.
She loses her nerve and confidence.
Archery is a mental game,
so it's important to have a mental coach.
That should improve my performance.
Deepika needs
a mental coach desperately...
...and from day one, not a month
or two before the Olympics.
If we want to win an Olympic medal,
we need to prepare well in advance.
Korean archers are mentally strong. It's
not that they're better skilled than us,
just that they are mentally stronger.
London 2012 to Rio 2016,
four years seems like a long time,
for any normal person.
But my coach said,
"Rio 2016 is just around the corner
so start preparing
and working hard now
as time flies."
So, I told myself, what's done is done,
you can't change the past.
I'm strong enough
and I believe in myself to know
that I'll never return to my old life.
I'll keep working hard,
giving up is not an option.
This time I'm going to fight!
We had seven Olympic trials.
Deepika broke the world record
in the first three trials.
At the World Cup in Shanghai,
she equaled the existing world record.
We're 99 percent sure
she'll win an Olympic medal.
She should have been selected
right then and there.
Actually I don't want to talk about it,
thank you.
I don't make many friends...
as I want to focus only on one thing,
an Olympic gold medal.
I never talk about how hard I work.
I just want to give my 100 percent
and win that medal!
The Korean team was selected
three months before the Olympics.
We need a selection committee in place
for selection and
to create a schedule.
Otherwise with trials every 15 days
and also a World Cup,
there is no time for recovery.
Therefore, an injury is inevitable.
This lack of planning by our authorities
caused Deepika to suffer
a shoulder injury.
I have an appointment with the doctor.
Maybe we will go to Delhi
or after coming back to Mumbai.
The appointment is confirmed.
It's a nightmare to get injured
a few days before the Olympics.
Tell me, what's the matter? When I draw my bow,
it hurts here.
So, I'm not able to pull back.
When I get to this position,
it's very painful--
Whenever she reaches the end
and flicks it and tries to release
that time no pain.
It hurts at this point.
Let me explain.
I'm the one feeling the pain.
It looks like, most probably,
bicipital tendinitis.
-I'm not feeling well.
-I don't feel so good.
-You have food, then you can sleep.
-You lie down.
Lie down.
She'll lie down for some time.
-You need water?
-I think I'm going to throw up.
I have pain in my right shoulder.
I need to fix it at any cost.
I can't let the authorities' apathy
hamper my chances.
But anyway, I'm very excited
to leave for the Olympics
and represent India.
Maybe I'm the girl who will bring home
a medal for India.
I'm sure my Mum will be praying to God
during my matches in Rio.
"Help my daughter win!"
My Dad is going on a pilgrimage to Shirdi.
I've been to every place of worship
so that my daughter returns victorious
and does Jharkhand proud.
I request the media to also pray for her
to come home a winner.
I don't know why I'm crying.
Maybe these are tears of joy
in anticipation of good news.
I just hope I don't feel any pain.
Hope this won't lead to pain.
It hurts.
A lot?
It hurts when I release...
after holding it in this position.
Deepika was at her peak
during the first three trials
where she broke the world record.
Then she got injured
and lost sensation in her shoulder.
Without pain she shoots fine,
with pain she gets nervous.
Her mental focus wavers
when she doesn't shoot well.
She forgets to use her elbow.
She's not able to do it the first time.
Only sometimes she is able to.
She shouldn't merely
rely on her wrist.
She should exert power
from her shoulder and elbow.
You have to control your wrist.
You have to close the gap
between your forearm and shoulder.
Keep your wrist in...
and use your elbow as an anchor.
That will improve your shooting
and you'll consistently hit the X.
When the gap increases,
it means you're using your wrist.
Someone's calling.
Please come in.
I've been wondering
when you would call
as I've been waiting to speak to you.
Be confident.
Feel the confidence within, okay?
I wish you luck.
May God bless you.
I pray
I don't feel any pain during my matches
so I can concentrate fully on my game
and perform well.
How did you feel after Rio?
After Rio?
Just that after working so hard
and then losing,
and the burden of loss
is a heavy cross to bear.
Please don't ask me that question.
You feel bad when...
wherever you go...
you don't
get any respect just because--
You don't have an Olympic gold medal
or any Olympic medal.
It doesn't matter how many
other competitions you've won.
It really doesn't matter.
These things need to
change in our country.
it will take...
a lot of time.
Eight years, twelve years?
-Hi, big sister.
-Hi. What's all this?
-Very little only.
-Welcome, big sister.
-How are you all?
We're good.
-How's practice coming along?
-Very well.
-Look at this.
-I've made a scrap book about you.
-There's no better teacher than time.
Neither as strong
nor as kind.
Oh, so, these are just the good ones.
We watched the Olympics together
in the TV room.
We'd set our alarms for midnight
and would wake each other up
by saying, "It's Deepika's match."
We'd jump out of bed--
And pray for your victory.
If your score was low,
we would pray:
"God, please help our sister Deepika,"
and scream loudly that you win.
You should have screamed louder
so I could have heard you in Rio.
We'd pray
that every arrow is a 10 but...
Unless we put in the hard work,
we won't achieve anything. We just have to
work hard and one day we will get there.
In our country,
girls keep saying they'll work hard.
We all work hard,
nobody teaches you the right way.
They say:
"Fine, we'll give our
100 or 200 percent."
But how do you know what you're doing
is right? How will you ever know?
Watch your seniors shoot,
ask your coaches,
watch their match videos.
It's the Internet Age, download videos.
There are such good players
from Korea, USA, Mexico,
watch their videos.
This is what hard work entails.
Hard work...
is doing the right thing.
-Train well.
-We need to take a photo.
You are the seniors now.
In our country, girls have big dreams
and ambitions, and want to fulfill them
but are held back by fear.
I want my story
to inspire every girl.
If you want to be successful,
you have to fight!
Say cheese!
Sports has taught me
an important lesson:
Never give up,
because the minute you give up,
you lose.
But as long as you keep fighting,
you gain a sense of confidence