Since gaining independence in 1947, India has been a secular state. But now, as religious fundamentalism grips much of India's population, the greatest danger to the nation's extremely ... See full summary »
Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy hopelessly in love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and... See full summary »
An exploration of caste in India. The documentary begins with the suicide of Vilas Ghogre, a Dalit poet and singer, following the 1997 atrocities against the Dalit community of Ramabai in ... See full summary »
The documentary Father Son and Holy War by Anand Patwardhan is a very well balanced and constructed piece of observation. When a person from a specific religion is able to capture and do justice to another religions point of view and hardships much respect should be given to them for the sheer ability to be that open minded. In this piece much subject matter is shown in regards to religion and the violence that can be attributed to it. Also it goes into detail about the process of how and when gender roles are defined and aid religion in oppressing women and other religions. The only large amount of bias in this film is that of pro-feminism which is not a bad fact at all, in truth it probably makes the film more effective by giving the results of throwing gender roles into religion and culture.
When riots struck India there were two sides that were indeed hurt by the violence. Anand Patwardhan does an excellent job of pointing the finger at gender roles and the extremists on either side of the conflict. When assemblies are shown he captures the same atmosphere and feeling from both camps. He captures very emphatic speeches that really show the detrimental attitude both side propagate. By using similar shots to build his case Anand develops an unbiased case. The plight concerning India is really brought out when we see what propaganda makes the violence tick.
Even when accusing machismo of destroying society a well constructed argument is used. Anand prevents his documentary from slinging mud, but instead goes right to the source of the problem. By showing the roots of male domination, whether it be through Sati, promoting male virility, promoting male birth or subjecting women to subordinate roles evidence of inequality is inlaid in the culture. However Anand does not leave this dilemma without its heroes. He does show women's resistance and civil rights group making steps against unequal treatment of women in India. By referring to so many sources of societal influence one gets an idea of the size and difficulty of separating tradition from progress.
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