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Movie about murdered Maple Ridge woman makes world premiere at TIFF

Film tells story of Jassi Sidhu whose family were accused of orchestrating her murder in India
Jassi and her husband Mithu were attacked and beaten by a gang of men in India in June 2000. Jassi died, Mithu survived. A scholarship was set up in her name for Pitt Meadows Secondary students. (Special to The News)

A film about the honour killing of a Maple Ridge woman has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Dear Jassi, directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, tells the true story of Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, who graduated in 1993 from Pitt Meadows Secondary School and was the daughter of rich blueberry farmers in Maple Ridge. Jassi was killed in June of 2000 in the Indian state of Punjab after she secretly married a rickshaw driver, Sukhwinder ‘Mithu’ Sidhu, a year before, against the wishes of her family.

The film made its world premiere on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Jassi had met Mithu during a family trip to India and they had kept their long distance relationship a secret.

But when her family found out they tried to break them apart.

Jassi went back to India in May 2000 to try to bring her husband back to Canada with her, but while there the pair were attacked by a gang of men. Jassi’s body was found a day later in a ditch with her throat slit, her husband, however, survived the attack.

Her mother, Malkrit Kaur Sidhu, and her uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha were accused of orchestrating the killing of Jassi and attempted killing of Mithu from Canada and they would be eventually extradited to India in 2019 to face a trial.

According to online news sources, Jassi’s mother was released on bail in December 2020, because of time already served, and her uncle’s bail application was to be reviewed Nov. 9, 2021.

Actor Pavia Sidhu stars in the film as Jassi and Yugam Sood as Mithu.

The movie is in the TIFF Platform program and up for the Platform Prize, a $20,000 prize selected by an international jury, highlighting a film judged to have high artistic merit and a strong directorial vision.

The 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival runs until Sunday, Sept. 17

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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