WAILS WITHIN SILENCE
Charles Howarth | Nepal, Great Britain 2014 | 18 Min. | OmeU
This ethnographic documentary film follows a day in the life of Minu and her family. Minu is a Nepali housewife. She spends her days cleaning, doing housework, working two jobs and looking after Kiran, her eight-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. As the film shows, this is not an easy life. As a housewife living in conditions of patriarchy, Minu’s life involves considerable hardship, with unforgiving physical work and responsibility for family life exacerbated by poverty. Her days are monotonous and joyless, with no-one to turn to for support. Whilst such a life is typical of many housewives in Nepal, Minu’s suffering is exacerbated by having a daughter with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy has been described as Nepal’s ‘hidden catastrophe’, with high incidence, a lack of support and education. Furthermore, it’s highly stigmatizing, with Minu believing that she and Kiran are being punished for sins committed in a past life. Through a highly personal story, the film shines a light on the twin problems of living with disability and patriarchy within Nepal.