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Purdah cover photo

Purdah 2017


Distributed by Jeremy Guy Films
Produced by Jeremy Guy Films, LLC
Directed by Jeremy Guy
DVD, color, 88 min.

India, Culture, Gender, Sports, Women

Date Entered: 01/02/2019

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

In a country of more than 1 billion people, the single most popular national sport in India is, somewhat surprisingly, cricket. Teams and players are celebrated throughout the country and televised games are watched by hundreds of millions. The game, first introduced by the British in the 18th century, is followed by nearly every sector of society. In a highly traditional, patriarchal society, however, it has only been within the past 40 years that females have been allowed to participate in national and international competitions.

For any young Indian woman who wants to play cricket, it’s a difficult undertaking; for young, poor, conservative Muslim Kaikasha Mirza, it’s a nearly impossible dream. After much persuasion, Kaikasha is allowed to remove her burka and try-out for the Mumbai Senior Women’s Cricket Team. When the narrative documentary resumes three years later, much has changed yet much remains the same.

The film, on one level, is the story of a young woman’s determination to participate in a sport she cares about passionately. In the telling, viewers are also introduced to a family struggling with the consequences of poverty and traditionalism. Despite occasionally difficult to read subtitles, the film is an engrossing view of a world often kept hidden from view. Recommended for general audiences with a focus on gender or area studies.