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Set in 1979, in a Pakistan under President General Zia-ul-Haq's martial law, SILENT WATERS begins as a bucolic story about a woman and her son, complete with a wedding celebration worthy of any Bollywood film, and then transforms into an eloquent tale of identity and belonging, faith and radicalism, and love and loss.
Ayesha is a seemingly well-adjusted middle-aged widow whose life centers around her son Saleem, a gentle, dreamy 18 year old. However, as the country embarks on the road to Islamization, political events begin to change the complexion of the town's innocent daily life and of the relationships for those who live in it. Saleem and a few of the town's other young men are soon gripped by a religious fervors. Events escalate considerably when Sikh pilgrims from India pour into the village. When one pilgrim goes looking for his sister who was abducted in 1947, Ayesha's long and sheltered past is brought to light.
EXTRAORDINARY! It graphically depicts the suffering women have to endure because of religion, politics, and patriarchy. --Spirituality & Health Magazine
Substantial, emotionally detailed. --New York Times
Top Customer Reviews
Wanting to do something in his life, the once-upon-a-time-aimless son now has a worthy cause to live for --> he embraces Islamic extremism and aspires to make Pakistan an Islamic state. On the other hand his mother stays moderate and secular with her views and doesn't like her son being a fundamentalist.
The plot revolves around the conflicts between the mother and the son and more significantly focuses on how religion is being misused by the few politicians and religious leaders to wrongfully influence the masses, resulting in a burdensome encumbrance on the free flow of moderate thought, democracy, and secularism.
This movie exemplifies how young adults in the villages all over the subcontinent have been the targets of emerging religious (Hindu and Islamic)extremist & fundamentalist organizations in the last two and a half decades or so.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for an example of the impregnation of the seeds of religious extremism.
Synopsis: `Silent Waters' (2003) is a thoughtful and timely tale of evolving Islamic politics in Pakistan spanning the time period from the Partition of 1947 on up to contemporary 2003. The story unfolds through the lives of a Mother (Kiron Kher as Ayesha) and her teenage son Saleem (Aamir Ali Malik). Ayesha was a teenager at the time of the 1947 Partition and her experiences of that event are told for the most part through intermittent memories presented as flashbacks. She has kept a secret hidden away from her son and community, a secret that is slowly revealed to the audience as the film progresses. For now we see her as a Muslim widow who adores her son and faithfully teaches the Koran to some of the children in the town.
However when two young Muslim extremist come into their peaceful community and begin to recruit the men into their militant Islamic philosophy long forgotten wounds begin to resurface in the minds of those old enough to remember the turmoil and heartbreak of 1947. As Saleem's commitment to the movement intensifies his once close and loving bond with his Mother is severely strained. Emotions eventually boil over when a large group of Sikh pilgrims come into town to visit one of their holy sites. As things go from bad to worse Ayesha's secret past becomes known, changing her life and her son's life forever.
Critique: `Silent Waters' is a film that both entertains and informs. The production values are high, the acting solid, especially the performance by Kiron Kher and the storyline will hold your interest from beginning to end.Read more ›
Apart from story, to me this is a hidden gem. I am not sure if it got the recognition it deserves. Just a fabulous job by the director. Some people might find this slow but the slow grinding struggle of decades is the essence. The two things that distinguish it completely from main stream Indian/Pakistani cinema are that it is not a musical and that its set up is just too real. The village and the village life shown here just too real. Great job. No unnecessary frills to show the colourful nature of Indian subcontinent life.
All in all, a must watch for all Pakistanis and Indians. Others should watch with some understanding of the stigma and struggles of the lives in Indian subcontinent in general.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film gives a valuable view of an important part of Pakistan's history. Helps us to understand what is going on there today by giving an idea of how politicians use religion to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Buddy1492
A sad and poignant portrayal of how young men become radicalized by Islamist fanatics and the repercussions of fanaticism at every level of society: the family level, village,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susanna Dvortsin
Excellent performance by all in this surreal melodrama. Highly recommended.Published 5 months ago by Hemster
Life in rural Punjab in Pakistan is depicted quite accurately. Nice story about how it's sometimes impossible to get rid of the past.Published 13 months ago by Seemi S. Khawaja
A realistic representation of what happened in 1947 and its aftermath.Published 17 months ago by rsa
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