DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Widow of Silence

Living in a conflict-ridden Kashmir, a "half widow" must find the strength to fight for herself in an absurd situation all too real - from the London Indian Film Festival

Aasia (Shilpi Marwaha), a mother of an 11-year-old girl who co-habits with her ailing mother-in-law, is a half widow: “married, but without a husband”. Her spouse found himself in the Indian army and has not been heard of since. She shares the same story with many women in her village. She has scoured each of the hospitals, morgues, locales for any word. None is given. The tale of the disappeared is one of universal horror and despondency. In this Urdu-language drama, director Praveen Morchhale details the system which dehumanises the many women within their community.

The film opens with the frame of an elderly woman, tied to her chair by a young woman. Bound in her chair, the old woman sits by a clandestine window, shadowing the nature which prohibits her freedom. It’s a telling metaphor by which the rest of the film follows. Though freedom and opportunity are within reach, there are material constraints that separate women from their destination.

It is her son who has gone missing. Her daughter-in-law Aasia must venture throughout the city, which one man describes as “God and Heaven on Earth”. Marwaha is staggering, delivering a motionless performance, internalising the pain she faces when she’s informed that her land can be sold off without her consent. Between frames, she lives in agonising purgatory, unable to re-marry, despite her obvious widowed state.

Finally, she plays to her strengths by asking the District Collector for her husband’s death certificate. He refuses, but later yields on condition she sleeps with him. The afflicted manner by which a human should live their life is filmed naturalistically, long takes displaying the everyday reality people around the world face in a continued, unresolved nightmare.

Shot in 17 days, there are some parallels to the #MeToo milieu. Though the topic matter is universal, this side comparison makes it more appetising for Western audiences to digest. Iranian cinematographer Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah paints the shots with a distant frame. The camera captures the surrounding events objectively and apolitically, with naturalistic display. Harrowing, heavy, haggard. A must-see!

Widow of Silence shows at the The Bagri Foundation London Film Festival. The event celebrates a decade of bringing the best new South Asian films to the UK, with 5 cities, 25 venues and 25 specially curated films. It starts on 20th June 2019 in London continues until 8th July 2019, at cinemas across the UK. For more information on the Festival just click here.

By Eoghan Lyng - 28-05-2019

Throughout a journey found through his own writings and the writings of other filmmakers, Eoghan has taken to the spirit of the surreal to find greater meaning from the real. He finds it far easier to...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Bengal Shadows

Joy Banerjee and Partho Bhattacharya

Victor Fraga - 23-06-2018

The REAL darkest hour of Churchill! Documentary reveals why the British Prime Minister is directly responsible for deaths of up to five million people during the Bengal famine of 1943 - from the London Indian Film Festival [Read More...]

Fireflies in The Abyss

Chandrasekhar Reddy

Lina Samoili - 03-08-2016

Immigrants or insects? The exploitation of the less-favoured - particularly the foreign-born - is not exclusive to Europe; this Indian documentary reveals that working conditions of Nepali coal miners in India goes beyond slavery [Read More...]

Hide and Seek (Lapachhapi)

Vishal Furia

Victor Fraga - 22-06-2017

Remember Children of the Corn? 'Tis time for children of the sugarcane! Deeply disturbing and yet widely practised Indian tradition is the centrepiece of this effective and socially engaged horror - from the London Indian Film Festival [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *