All Hearts are dead except those with knowledge... All those with knowledge are asleep except those who perform good actions... All those who perform good actions are deceived except those with sincerity... And all those with sincerity are in a constant state of anxiety... [Imam Shafi'i]

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Water

Salams guys,

I just watched a really good film last night. Although it is a bollywood film, it's one of those rare movies made by the indian film industry that digs well into history and makes us question societal values that culture or religion (i.e. hinduism) has placed on us. This movie is called "Water". It was nominated for best international film and because of a lot of political and religious controversy it was released much later than it was supposed 2 b. And whats even stranger is that this movie was not released in India! I guess because of the opposition 2 this film by corrupt politicians who like 2 keep people subdued in their exploitative and corrupt ideas.


The movie is set in 1938, in the Gandhian era, a time when widows had 3 choices after the death of her husband:
  1. To be burnt to death with her husband
  2. To live a life of self denial
  3. To marry the brother of here husband

This movie shows the story of a little girl, Chuiya, who is widowed at a really young age (say 7 or 8) by her old old old husband and is sent to live with other widows in a widow house (option 2 from above). They live in this broken down building away from the real world. They all wear only white and have their hair shaved off. The only time they go out is to bathe, pray or beg for money in front of the mandir. This little girl did awesome acting - her innocence was brought out so well! I mean she doesnt even remember getting married and probably hasnt even seen her husband after her wedding day (can u imagine that!).

These women are treated as bad as the untouchables. Noone goes near them, no one respects them and if you touch them u hafta bathe again! Another main character in this movie is Kalyani. She is the only widow with her hair still grown. At first i was a bit confused why she was the only one with her hair grown and y she lived in a room away from all the other widows. But later u get 2 c that the eldest widow in charge forcefully sends Kalyani off to "clients" to work as a prostitute. This is another source of the little amount of money that they get. Its so sick that its none other than the rich brahmins that actually use the widows!

But all this starts to change when Narayan, a young Gandhi idealist comes into the picture. He wants to liberate the widows as preached by Gandhi. After he falls in love with Kalyani (cudnt u predict this wud happen, after all it IS bollywood, some elements of their films always remain!) he proposes to her. But I wont tell u what happens after that. After this there is a big turn of events which are very very unpredictable. So u shud watch it 2 find out. It is an awesome awesome movie! It was kind of shocking 4 me that one of the girls I was watching it with thought that the situation was identical for Muslim widows! I just realised then that we are so influenced by Indian culture we are getting our Islam confused with hinduism. I had to explain all abt the differences between womens rights in Islam and (the lack of) womens rights in Hinduism. She found out for the first time that divorce is allowed in islam (even tho it's not reccomended)! May Allah save us from misunderstanding our religion ever insha Allah.

Anyway, if u like serious movies this is really good. No rude scenes, not even 1! The furthest physical contact u will see on screen is a hug. I'd give it a definate 9/10, perhaps even a 9.5! (believe me which is the 2nd highest i have ever rated a movie). If u can get ur hands on it, u shud watch it, even as a whole family u can learn a lot abt hindu prejudice towards women from this.

10 Comments:

Blogger flynn.t said...

Maybe we should watch that for "movie night" at Syriana's??
It sounds good, although I may just end up traumatised...
:S

7:54 pm

 
Blogger Flying Daggers said...

where can i get my hands on one?

9:20 pm

 
Blogger -iishii- said...

flynn: we cud watch it at syriana's place if all the girls feel like watching a serious film. I have a fealing most of them wont, so I dunno.

Dags: try ur local bangla or indian shop. They usually have them. The english video shops wont have them yet coz water is due to come out at the movies here soon, so theres no way that it'd be out on dvd. But u no us curries and our piracy, lol. Thats y the bangala shops have em and the english dvd shops dont.

2:45 pm

 
Blogger flynn.t said...

Yeah...right- daggy or myself stepping into on of "those" shops...like that'll EVER happen...
!

6:04 pm

 
Blogger Flying Daggers said...

Mayyyyybbbbbbe if i was held at gun point - just maybe!!

10:17 pm

 
Blogger tancurve said...

i should watch that...

2:54 pm

 
Blogger -iishii- said...

haha, i didnt think it was possible 4 u guys 2 step into a bangali shop. Well then u mite hafta wait several months 4 its release. Enjoy the wait!

7:43 pm

 
Blogger flynn.t said...

it comes out sometime early next month...
:P

5:59 am

 
Blogger Emu said...

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I'M SUPPOSED TO HAVE MEMORISED OVER 40 PAGES BY MONDAY 2PM AND I'VE ONLY DONE 5!!!!!!! ..... *hyperventilating* .....

...... sorry, just had to let it out of my system .......

.......I NEED A TIME-OUT.......

10:09 pm

 
Blogger flynn.t said...

Hey man... how about an update??

4:32 pm

 

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