Sonchiriya director Abhishek Chaubey always thought Chambal would be a great setting for a film.

Abhishek Chaubey’s Sonchiriya may be set in the past but the director says the story of Chambal valley dacoits is relevant as it talks about “gender and caste discrimination”, issues that still exist in the society.

Chaubey, who is known for his heartland stories such as Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya and Udta Punjab, always thought Chambal would be a great setting for a film.

“We travelled there and we started reading about bandits, meeting people who were either bandits or policemen or who had interacted with bandits. We found this culture of bandits fascinating and wanted to explore this space and their issues in an action thrilling space,” Chaubey told PTI.

And though the place, once synonymous with bandits, has moved on, the issues that made dacoity a culture in the area, still remain the same.

“For the local people in Chambal, it (dacoit culture) is a thing of past. The place has moved on. There are no bandits now. But the problems (caste and gender discrimination) that exist in a society, are there. These are as much an issue in suburban Juhu as it they are in Chambal,” he added.

Chaubey said he was surprised to learnt that in their glory days, Chambal had more than 1,000 gangs, which were primarily formed on the basis of caste.