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Veil of Tears (DVD) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

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Director:
 
Length: 90 minutes
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


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We liked?


A stark look at life for women in India.

Not so much?


The two portions of the film do not mesh seamlessly, making for an abrupt change from one to the next.


Final Fiendish Findings?

“Undesired. Untouchable. But not unloved.” Veil of Tears is one of those films that really makes you think. Of course, most of us had some inkling that life for the majority of women in India was not ideal. After all, countless news stories of gang rapes and honor killings leave little doubt about that. However, […]

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Posted July 26, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

“Undesired. Untouchable. But not unloved.”

Veil of Tears is one of those films that really makes you think. Of course, most of us had some inkling that life for the majority of women in India was not ideal. After all, countless news stories of gang rapes and honor killings leave little doubt about that. However, to be taken right into the slums and hear about their plight from the women themselves is profoundly heartbreaking.

Veil of Tears begins with a beautiful telling of the story of a man so in love with his deceased wife that he spends fortunes and decades to build a monument to their love that has delighted through the ages…the Taj Mahal. As romantic as that story sounds, it serves as the perfect contrast to how life really is for women in India. Far from treasured by their husbands, women occupy an inferior station in life, able to do little more than bear children and then work backbreaking hours of hard labor to feed them. Men, though they be drunkards or little more than pimps, have complete sovereignty over the household. Even when their husband is kind, oftentimes the extended family can make it difficult or even impossible for any kind of quality of life. This is what comes from a society steeped in centuries of caste system and dowry traditions.

The film takes viewers from one region of India to the next, explaining a little about the culture and the unique challenges women from each area face. From struggling to feed children even on meal a day, to being forced into sexual slavery, to being thrown from their homes after the death of a spouse, one theme runs strong from region to region – there seems to be little hope for anyone unlucky enough to be born female, and the rapidly increasing gender gap shows that even being born can be challenge. The cinematography and story telling direct from the mouths of those who live this life make for an eye opening juxtaposition between the beauty of the country and the ugliness of life in its slums.

Although the portion about the plights women face could have stood on its own as a film, the true intent of Veil of Tears is to show a massive push to change the way of life for millions of women. So while the first half focuses solely on the challenges women in India face, the second half focuses on growing mission work that is intent on changing the face of a nation, one woman at a time. From school centers to trained sisters to teaching proper hygiene, inroads are being made. Although it may seem like a drop in the bucket in a country of billions, things are changing village by village, and it is certainly a start. Women have hope where before there was none.

Veil of Tears is an eye opening film about hopelessness in a country steeped in centuries of oppressive tradition, but it is also a film about bringing hope when once there was none. Although both portions of the film are profound and engaging, there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the two. The film switches abruptly from studying practices against women in various regions to discussing the mission work, and it simply doesn’t segue properly. Still, it is a moving film that will make you look at your life – and your freedoms – in a profoundly different way.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)