Project Description

Neetu Badhan-Smith on Phoolan Devi

The shocking story of Phoolan Devi, the Bandit Queen, who started as an abused child bride, became a notorious criminal fugitive and eventually was elected to India’s Parliament. Though she was assassinated in 2001 the legend of the Bandit Queen lives on. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Neetu Badhan-Smith, tells the story of this powerful female avenger. Be advised, video includes mention of sexual assault.


Director: Julie Hébert
DP: Sevdije Kastrati
Sound: Sara Glaser
Producer: Courtney Graham
Co-Producer: Jill Klein
Editor: Steph Zenee Perez
Mix: Daniel Raphael
PA: Brandy Barber
PA: Cat Oriel

More About…

Neetu Badhan-Smith


Neetu S. Badhan-Smith is a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. She previously worked at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office (13 years) and the Southern California Housing Rights Center (2 years). She also sits on the Board of Directors for Cornerstone Theater Company. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA, and law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. Thank you for allowing me to be part of a project that recognizes and empowers women!

Phoolan Devi


Phoolan Devi, Indian bandit and politician (1963 – 2001), also known as the “Bandit Queen” became legendary for her acts of revenge and her Robin Hood-like activities. After being imprisoned she became a member of the Indian lower house of Parliament.

Photos of Phoolan Devi from Phoolan Film Inc., India Times and Dainik Bhaskar newspaper