What can you say about a 12-year-old girl whose god has died? Each year, thousands of Nepalese children are sold into sexual slavery in India. Often kidnapped or duped, these girls are raped and beaten until they submit to lives of prostitution. Many call the day they were sold ”the day my god died.”
Boston native Andrew Levine’s first feature documentary has a lot to say about them, and it’s heartbreaking. Filmed in India and Nepal, ”The Day My God Died” uses spy-camera footage to take us into Bombay’s grim Kamathipura neighborhood, the largest concentrated red-light district in the world, known as ”The Cages.” According to the film, some 200,000 prostitutes work here. The average age is just 14, but most will not live long; 80 percent of them have HIV.
Narrated by Tim Robbins and Winona Ryder, ”The Day My God Died” will be broadcast Dec. 19 on WGBH (Channel 44) at 9 p.m., with Susan Sarandon as host. But local audiences have a chance to see it first: A free advance screening takes place in the Boston Public Library’s Rabb Lecture Hall Thursday at 6:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion including Laura Lederer, senior adviser on trafficking at the US State Department, and Brigitte Cazalis Collins, executive director of Friends of Maiti Nepal. For information, visit www.friendsofmaitinepal.org or www.thedaymygoddied.com.