Thanks to Feo Aladag’s Die Fremde (When We Leave) I learned about the eastern concept of honor or namus as is call in some Asian cultures. As a good westerner I was shocked with a tradition that so shameless and inhumanly could harm women. Avantika Hari’s movie introduces me to the same concept as is seen in other Asian countries like India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Zan Zar Zameen in Urdu, or its Hindi equivalent Jar Joru Jameen, translates to Land Gold Women or as you can see the name of this movie. As you can imagine story is appalling especially for women, but I believe that every women in the world should watch movies like this to start to understand how women can be considered less than secondary citizens and a much worthless men possession when and if females disobey them.
Was reading movie reviews and found one that mentioned a recent –January 2012- case that happened in Canada, so went to look for more information only to find that the real life story that happened a few months ago could be the fictional story told in this film. If you like to learn about the real case search for Mohammed Shafia in the net and you will find the news that tell about killing women that disobeys their male “owner” or husband/father.
This film tells the story of a teenager, Saira, educated to be more occidental than oriental until there is the chance that she may leave home to pursue higher education and Nazir –the father- realizes that he won’t be able to take care of her if she leaves. Is in that moment that “blood” teachings come alive and decides to go back to India to marry his daughter in an arranged marriage. But the girl has a boyfriend and he is white. Is when Nazir discovers the boyfriend that realizes that Saira has betrayed his trust and damaged his, his nuclear and his extended family honor. Not even the mother can save her and there is only one thing to be done, to kill his daughter Saira in order to restore some of the lost honor.
Because of the horrible story I’m really glad that movie production values and actors performances are not in the good side as movie would have become unbearable to watch (like was Feo Adalag’s Die Fremde); but movie value is the story that tells that should be spread to erase westerner ignorance of how deeply rooted in ancient traditions are the “reasons” to mistreat women. Most disturbing is a moment when the solicitor finally understands the concept of land, gold, women and mentions how many centuries ago there was something similar in England; well, we know that western women had to earn their acceptance in western societies and still there are many things where women is not equal (or even near equal) to men. Sigh. Still movie won India’s National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English.
Absolutely not a movie to enjoy but one that every woman in the world should watch to understand what happens to women in “traditional” Asian families or to realize that if they don’t obey their father or husband it might happen to her. I know that many that read this blog should watch this movie but please don’t expect much production values, watch for story.
Watch trailer @MOC