Moksha

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English (subtitled), 80 min, 1993, India

Abandoned by their families to lives of penury, marked by the white veils which they wear, Bengali widows find solace and food in the ashrams of Vrindavan where they gather every morning and evening to sing religious songs. In this profoundly moving documentary on widowhood portrayed both as social institution and personal tradition, moments of astonishing sensuous beauty alternate with rhythms of anguish. In the best of the new ethnographic tradition, 'Moksha' de-centres the voices of authority and allows a plurality of voices to introduce contesting positions. Haunting in its evocation of grief and anger, the film transcends documentary and assumes its place in the great tradition of lamentation, the expression of the dark night of the human soul.

 
Producer:
Vital Films
 
Creative Crew
Camera:
Piyush Shah
Editing:
Sameera Jain
Sound:
Pankaj Butalia
 
Awards and Screenings:

Silver Dove, Leipzig, 1993
Golden Conch, MIFF, 1994
Special Jury Award, Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco, 1994
Special Jury Award, Freeburg, 1994
Best Cinematography, National Awards, 1994