Filmmaker Jeremy Guy talked to us about his debut feature documentary Purdah, which he directed, produced, and shot between 2011 and 2018.
Purdah follows the remarkable and passionate young women of the Mirza family in Mumbai, India. Kaikasha, Heena, and Saba each have dreams for their personal lives and careers, but they clash with the rigid views of their father and their conservative Muslim community. Kaikasha desperately wants to become a professional cricketer in a community where women playing sports is forbidden. Saba and Heena want to become an actress and a singer, but their father stands in the way of their careers, believing that women should not work.
The film was directed and shot by award-winning filmmaker Jeremy Guy and made with a small but mighty team. Purdah was edited by Anisha Acharya and Salman Syed. Sound design by Sung Rok Choi. Composed by Marcello De Francisci.
Purdah is the inspiring documentary about Kaikasha Mirza trading her burka for dreams of playing on the Mumbai Senior Women’s Cricket Team and how the harsh realities for women in her country creates an unexpected outcome for her own family, ultimately shattering and fueling aspirations. The film was called a “real-life Bend It Like Beckham” by NPR, is 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and was named to film critic Marie Asner’s list of the “Best Independent Films of 2019.”
This documentary takes place in Mumbai, India. Much of the footage occurs within the conservative Muslim enclaves of Mumbai where the Mirza family lives, but the film takes you on a journey across the metropolis from the skyscrapers, to the slums, to famous cricket grounds.
Filming spanned six years, with the first shots coming in early 2011 during the lead up to the World Cup of Cricket that was being hosted in India. Since many dramatic events occurred in the lives of the Mirza family, the filming continued for several more years in order to tell the full story.
The young women of the Mirza family have a remarkable story to tell that is inspiring and full of perseverance. When we heard Kaikasha talk about wanting to remove her burka and become the first Muslim woman to ever make the Mumbai Senior Women’s Cricket Team, we were all fascinated and inspired by her and wanted to help her tell her story on screen. We then met the rest of the Mirza family and were captivated by Kaikasha’s charming sisters and became invested in their journeys for self-determination. In talking to viewers at screenings for Purdah, many people have mentioned that the film allowed them to understand and empathize with people across the globe who they might never have otherwise even known about, which was very much the goal of the film.
Purdah is available on a number of major platforms. We would love to have you watch the film and let us know what you think with a rating/review!
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