On Purdah, women and girls jockey to make their separate dreams come true. The documentary mostly focuses on Kaikasha Mirza. She’s 20 year old and wants to play for a womens cricket league in Mumbai. The movie also spends time with Kaikasha’s sisters. Saba is the older one while Heena is younger and both have dreams. The former wants to be a model while the latter wants to be a fashion designer or maybe a singer.
Jeremy Guy profiles these women while showing a specific culture around them, one where cricket is omnipresent. He also shows boys playing on the streets, who have their own fantasies of someday playing in a professional level. It’s difficult is it for everyone to reach those heights, regardless of gender. However, it’s much harder for Kaikasha as a woman who has to face acceptance from men to pursue any sport. She’s lucky to have her father who eventually gave in to her wishes.
Her father, in reluctantly agreeing to her athletic pursuits, gave her two years to get into the league. Failure means marriage. She also has to give up cricket if they find a husband who disapproves of the sport. The Mirza family are also Muslims who prefer that their daughters wear the titular purdah or any covering. Mr. Mirza believes in what the rest of the family considers archaic.
The movie’s length suits television more than the cinema, making me wish that there was more to this family portrait. He could have also had a slightly larger scope of characters. However, instead of the confining the Mirza family within the traditional talking head format, Guy follows them around. He interviews them while they’re doing chores or lets them sit down in their own environment. And it’s one where the barriers are real.
- Release Date: 3/3/2018