By: Austin Winter-Chase
A woman’s mind is a gift. Her beauty is sacred, but she also very powerful. Wars have been launched, civilizations leveled, discoveries made and untold numbers of lives saved because of a woman. There is no difference now then in ancient times of how women are perceived; the only issue now is if a woman is allowed the right and freedom to express herself openly.
Filmmakers Ovidio Salazar, Nahla Al Fahad and Mazen al Khayrat film “The Tainted Veil” which will open in NYC on Friday, December 11th – 17th at the Cinema Village tackles this very issue. The film gives a in-depth look at the controversial hijab or headscarf worn by Muslim women “Women are either judged for wearing the hijab or for not wearing it”. Whether a veil of the soul, the mind or the body; the layers of the veil in history and the many meanings behind it will be revealed. Through a range of perspectives from male and female Islamic scholars, Christian, Jewish scholars, established clergy, educators, conservatives, liberal thinkers and women who have worn or wear the hijab themselves. Powerful statements and passionate arguments are proposed with strong conviction and divergent points of view In a debate that runs the gamut of possibility.
“The Tainted Veil” is more than a cultural statement about religious freedom proposed to women’s freedom. It is about the way male dominated societies views and treats the most precious and most treasured resource they have. It is thought that if a woman is not covered in some kind of headscarf and enters a male dominated intellectual arena men will not respect nor pay her any attention. This is because her beauty is to powerful for men to ignore therefore instead of seeing her intelligence all they see is her physical beauty. It has been said that a woman’s physical beauty needs to be controlled and caged while men do not have to live under such confinement. Yet in the Western world a woman’s beauty is objectified and they are seen as nothing more then sex objects. It is the male dominated environment that is in controls of a woman’s freedom and there identity. Regardless of what you might think about the custom of the hijab one thing is painfully and powerfully clear there are two extremes one is severely conservative and the other is severely dehumanized to women. Either way a woman’s freedom is frequently out of her hands and is ruled by religion, culture, gender, tradition, sex, society and family; leaving very little space left for her to exist in.
“The Tainted Veil” is a masterfully done documentary which is not only informative, but also eye opening. Even in a modern society there are still restraints placed on those viewed as less than equal or even worse not equal at all. Who must bend their will to appease society and their male counterparts. Until society is ready to confront the way its sees the physical and the intellectual beauty of a woman nothing will ever change, but there is always hope with the next generation. “The Tainted Veil” is truly a must see documentary which is food for thought.
The Tainted Veil 78 min
Directors: Nahla Al Fahad, Mazen al Khayrat,
Writers: Stephenie Dopferah, Mazen al Khayrat
For more information on “The Tainted Veil” go to http://www.anasy.ae