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A Suitable Girl

2017
Distributed by Collective Eye Films, 1315 SE 20th Ave. #3, Portland OR 97214; 971-236-2056
Produced by Jennifer Tiexiera, Sarita Khurana, and Smriti Mundhra
Directed by Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra
DVD, color, 94 min.
College - General Adult
Marriage, Culture, Women, India


Reviewed by Lara Herzellah, Research and Information Literacy Librarian, Daniel A. Reed Library, State University of New York at Fredonia

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 5/15/2018

In India, it is not unusual to see a bride crying on her wedding day. The wedding day marks the time when a bride leaves her family behind to go on to live with her new husband and his family. More often than not, that means moving hundreds of miles away in a country where travel is limited.

A Suitable Girl depicts the customs and traditions surrounding marriage in India. It does this by exploring the stories of three young women over a span of three years. Each have different thoughts and ideas about marriage, yet they all succumb to the traditional expectations of their patriarchal society, which involve giving up their jobs, leaving their homes, and becoming submissive wives. This documentary does an excellent job of portraying a restrictive society that reduces women to a life of meek servitude. It ends with the idea that these women not only lose any sort of independence they may have had, but also lose their identities in the process. For example, they are only known by others as their spouse’s wife, with no acknowledgement of their names. However, two out of the three women can say that they have great love for their husband and enjoy being married, but it is the loss of their individuality that stifles them.

This film is highly recommended for its captivating storytelling and the wonderful way in which it handles the material. There is no apparent bias, it merely chronicles the lives of these women and allows viewers to construct their own opinions. This film would benefit any academic library.