“[Widow of Silence] packs an unsettling message of empowerment
very rare in the social injustice genre”
— Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“It is very rare for Indian filmmakers to take on the Kashmiri case in such an emphatic and problem-focused manner… for international audiences, it is a rare opportunity to gain insight into problems that are not widely-publicized.”
— Joanna Konczak, Asian Movie Pulse
BASED ON MANY TRUE STORIES IN CONFLICT-RIDDEN KASHMIR, ONE WOMAN’S ATTEMPTS TO HAVE HER HUSBAND PROCLAIMED DEAD UNFOLDS INTO A NIGHTMARE OF UNENDING PROPORTIONS
FEATURING STUNNING CINEMATOGRAPHY, THE POWERFUL, ACCLAIMED DRAMA FROM DIRECTOR
PRAVEEN MORCHHALE, WILL PREMIERE VIRTUALLY IN SELECT THEATERS BEGINNING JULY 10, 2020
When a Kashmiri woman attempts to get her missing husband’s death certificate issued, a bureaucratic nightmare tangles her family’s future and her own existence in WIDOW OF SILENCE, the third film from Director Praveen Morchhale (Barefoot to Goa, Walking with the Wind), winner of a 2018 UNESCO -Gandhi Medal and a National Film Award of India.
Aasia’s husband disappeared seven years ago, taken away in the 30-year long Kashmir conflict. This situation has made her a “half-widow” – the name given to the many women who’ve lost husbands, though they’ve not been declared dead. Needing the death certificate to gain title to the family’s land and thus ensure that she can look after her aging mother-in-law and her 11-year old daughter, she’s decided to ask for the issuance of his death certificate. Confronted by the local corrupt Registrar, who creates an unending bureaucratic nightmare, she will need unthinkable strength to overcome a situation that grows stranger and more distressing by the day.
Portraying the pain, struggle, suffering, resilience and the indomitable spirit of Kashmiri Half-widows and their children, WIDOW OF SILENCE opens a window into the isolated lives of these women, who face harassment, sexual exploitation and humiliation. Remaining true to reality, Morchhale’s powerful drama puts the spotlight on the plight of those forced to contend with a history and culture that do not include them.
An audience favorite at dozens of fests around the globe, WIDOW OF SILENCE garnered both awards — including “Best Indian Film” at the Kolkata International Film Festival — and critical acclaim. “You don’t need a tormenting rattling of machine guns to tell about terrors of war. You don’t need buckets of blood to depict violence, “says Joanna Konczak of Asian Movie Pulse. “Praveen Morchhale understands that perfectly…With a subtle calmness of his previous works he brings into focus the fate of the most vulnerable and helpless victims of conflict zones around the world: woman and children. And Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter says that Delhi film and theater actress Shilpi Marwaha broke through stereotypes with her “luminous” half-widow and brings the film “to angry life with a wonderfully detailed performance.”
WIDOW OF SILENCE (2018)
Written and Directed by Praveen Morchhale
Cast Shilpi Marwaha, Ajay Chourey, Noorjahan Mohmmad Younus, Bilal Ahmad,
Zaba Banoo, Habibulla
Produced by Praveen Morchhale
Director of Photography Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah
Edited by Anthony Joseph
RT 86 minutes
Language Urdu with English Subtitles