Monday, September 11, 2006


Shame is the story of a women who is gang raped to settle a dispute between her clan and a rival clan. When Mukhtaran Mai was raped, dishonored in her, her family, her town and her atttackers she was expected to commit suicide. This was the goal, a clan is dishonored and shrunk. She did attempt suicide but resolved to fight back. She went to the nearby city to the nearest police and attempted to lay charges. I have not been unfamilar with this case.

The documentry has been continiously filmed over the last 4 years. The huge stock of footage has allowed the director/editor flexibility.

What I found most interesting is the depiction of politics in a country after army coup. To me even through there has been no elections the Pakistani governemnt behaves in a normal politic manner. The documentry starts after Musharraf's coup. We see the government officials warning, praising, canjoling, orating, talking about new policies and inititives, all normal behavior. They also spin, spin, spin. There is one news conference that could be right out Yes, Minister. The government official is spinning the official line. At the same table Mukhtaran Mai is contrdicting every one of her statements. That scene gave me hope that despite Pakistan regular intervals of milltary rule and despotism there a converstaion between the governed and the governors.

Mukhtaran Mai was given some criminal victum compensation by the government. She used it start a school for girls in the village. She never got a chance to go to school. Her funds have since been suplemented by funding from goverments, NGO's and private individuals. there was coverage of a speech day at boys and girls schools. Several of the students feature belong to enemy clan that raped her. She able help all the children in her villiage even the ones she, like many people, would hate in association.

What I learned: Politics in a army run country is still politics.

What I forgot when I saw this movie: Pakistan is a country where many want to see rape as a form of adultery, for the victum, see news from this summer.

No comments: