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For 12 year-old Maya, life is very simple in her village in rural India. From innocent pranks to small adventures in the nearby forest, she spends most of her time with her 11 year-old cousin Sanjay. However, their fraternal love will be shattered when Sanjay will fail to save her from an imaginary brutal ritual.Written by
Tension slowly builds to a brutal climax that is genuinely shocking
The story unfolds slowly - maybe a little too slowly - but overall is beautifully told. Two cousins - a boy and girl - are caught up in a ritual triggered when the girl starts to menstruate. The brutal climax of the ritual is genuinely shocking. The girl, Maya, is raped by holy men. This is part of the ritual, and guests feast outside the temple while it's happening. The adults in the story see such rapes as rites of passage and celebrations of family prestige.
Perhaps characters and attitudes are too black and white; metaphors are a bit heavyhanded; and there is little nuance, but this film has considerable qualities too - not least that it tackles an important and current issue - and does it well.
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