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Silent Waters [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Punjabi, Urdu
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A0GY2I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,331 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on 25 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
This is an elegant and subtle film about the lives of widow Ayesha and her teenage son Saleem and how the political and cultural climate of the past and present clash ... destroying their lives forever. Buried memories return to haunt the widow Ayesha ... until she can take no more. Saleem is nearing adulthood and is the indulged and only son of the widow. Ayesha prays at the graveside of her husband - supplicating Allah to provide a good marriage partner for Saleem. She asks for a daughter-in-law who will be of assistance with the housework as she ages. Saleem secretly meets Zubeida his girlfriend at the mosque. SThey discusses their future. Zubeida hates housework and talks of attending a women's college so she can work in an air conditioned office ... As they exchange kisses Saleem sees a bleak future for himself. He has limited opportunities, realistically he can either become a laborer in the fields or work as a clerk for a shopkeeper in town. Neither appeals to him, he is restless, unsettled, looking for a more meaningful existence and better working conditions ...

During a wedding celebration of a wealthy businessman ... two politically connected religious fanatics come to the village as guests of the groom. Their goal is to raise the concsiousness of the young people to new ideas about building an Islamic republic in Pakistan. One of them is so serious and focused, he does not even attend the wedding feast where a famous dancer is entertaining guests. Around this time, there is a political deal struck between India and Pakistan which allows the Sikhs, past residents of the village and political exiles to return and visit Pakistan. Many come to their former village to celebrate a religious holiday at the local temple.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Alam on 7 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
A realistic tale of a society that was being transformed in the late 70s and early 80s. Though majority of Pakistani society is still moderate, Russian invasion in Afghanistan and American involvement saw billions of dollars coming into Pakistan to encourage youngsters to go to Afghanistan and take part in Jihad. After Russian defeat, the same Mujahids became headache for the ones who created them.

This story witnesses the impact of that transformation. The hero of the film is being brainwashed and is ready to sacrifice his relations - mother and girlfriend - to become part of a global Jihad. The film ends with the reversal of government policy and sound of Present President, Pervaiz Musharraf, is heard that is preaching 'moderation'. This shows irony of two dictators. First one radicalized the society because a superpower wanted so and the second one is reversing the policy not because it is in the interest of people but simply to make the same power happy.

Though the whole story is a result of political upheaval, the film is far away from politics and a very charming and realistic depiction of a beautiful and nostalgic era. This film shows that Pakistani film industry is not very different from Pakistani cricket team and has an ability to surprise you when you least expect it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Poignant & Effective 29 Sept. 2005
By Mr. Aditya B. Surti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Set in a 1979 Pakistani village, during the regime of General Zia Ul-Haq, this is an absorbing story of a mother and a son who go through the rise of Islamic extremism.
Wanting to do something in his life, the once-upon-a-time-aimless son now has a worthy cause to live for --> he embraces Islamic extremism and aspires to make Pakistan an Islamic state. On the other hand his mother stays moderate and secular with her views and doesn't like her son being a fundamentalist.
The plot revolves around the conflicts between the mother and the son and more significantly focuses on how religion is being misused by the few politicians and religious leaders to wrongfully influence the masses, resulting in a burdensome encumbrance on the free flow of moderate thought, democracy, and secularism.
This movie exemplifies how young adults in the villages all over the subcontinent have been the targets of emerging religious (Hindu and Islamic)extremist & fundamentalist organizations in the last two and a half decades or so.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for an example of the impregnation of the seeds of religious extremism.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Finally a movie from Pakistan 30 Sept. 2005
By Rehan Rafay Jamil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is undoubtedly one of the most important films of to come out of Pakistan. The film which is set in a small village in Punjab is shaped by the political context of General Zia 's military coup which overthrow Pakistan's elected prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Zia used "Isamic"ideology to justify his rule. There are two parallel but interrelated stories in this movie . On the one hand it is the story about a young village boy (Saleem) and how he gets involved with political Islamists from the city. One the other hand it is about the thousands of sikh, muslim and Hindu women (represented in the character of Salems mother Ayesha)who were either killed or left behind on the wrong sider of the border at partition. The character of Ayesha is played by the superb Indian actress Kiron Kher who is emblematic of the tolerant sufi islam that has historically had such a strong tradition in Pakistan. This is juxtaposed with the new virulent, political Islam imposed by zia-ul haq that the men from Lahore convince Salim to advocate. This is one of the most beautifully made movies on partition and the dispalcement and violence followed it that I have seen.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
haunting indictment of religious extremism 15 April 2006
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Silent Waters" is an eye-opening film about a young Pakistani man who falls under the spell of radical Islam. It's 1979, and there's a move afoot to turn Pakistan into an authoritarian theocracy, one in which only Muslims would be free to practice their religion openly, and the rights of women would essentially cease to exist. Saleem is a good-hearted but somewhat aimless young man who is at first apolitical in his beliefs but who becomes a fervent believer in the cause when a group of young radicals arrives in his village preaching religious solidarity and intolerance. There's an even more interesting back story involving Saleem's mother, a woman who has been carrying a very dark secret around with her for over thirty years, one that goes to the very heart of religious fundamentalism.

The film is, in many ways, reminiscent of "The Shop on Main Street" in that it captures what it is like when a feeling of doom subtly and gradually descends upon a community. Most of the characters in the film go about their daily business without giving much thought or heed to what is about to happen to them until it is already too late to do anything to stop it. In fact, it is the people of good will who just want to be left alone to live out their lives in peace who, by their very obescience and indifference, become complicit in the horror.

Although the acting tends a bit toward the amateurish, wooden and melodramatic at times, and the stages through which Saleem goes from being a disinterested bystander to a fanatical follower are not always as convincing as they could be, "Silent Waters" is a grimly compelling film that reminds us of just how evil and dangerous any type of religious fundamentalism can be.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Pakistan Was Made For Islam" ~ Why She Doesn't Go To The Well Anymore 16 May 2011
By Brian E. Erland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Note: The film is presented in Punjabi and Urdu with English subtitles.

Synopsis: `Silent Waters' (2003) is a thoughtful and timely tale of evolving Islamic politics in Pakistan spanning the time period from the Partition of 1947 on up to contemporary 2003. The story unfolds through the lives of a Mother (Kiron Kher as Ayesha) and her teenage son Saleem (Aamir Ali Malik). Ayesha was a teenager at the time of the 1947 Partition and her experiences of that event are told for the most part through intermittent memories presented as flashbacks. She has kept a secret hidden away from her son and community, a secret that is slowly revealed to the audience as the film progresses. For now we see her as a Muslim widow who adores her son and faithfully teaches the Koran to some of the children in the town.

However when two young Muslim extremist come into their peaceful community and begin to recruit the men into their militant Islamic philosophy long forgotten wounds begin to resurface in the minds of those old enough to remember the turmoil and heartbreak of 1947. As Saleem's commitment to the movement intensifies his once close and loving bond with his Mother is severely strained. Emotions eventually boil over when a large group of Sikh pilgrims come into town to visit one of their holy sites. As things go from bad to worse Ayesha's secret past becomes known, changing her life and her son's life forever.

Critique: `Silent Waters' is a film that both entertains and informs. The production values are high, the acting solid, especially the performance by Kiron Kher and the storyline will hold your interest from beginning to end. Islamic extremism is obviously an ever growing concern in our quickly shrinking world and I think this film approaches that subject matter in an honest, even-handed manner. I appreciated the filmmakers ability to show how a radical philosophy or belief can move so quickly and subtly into a seemingly peaceful community and change how people think and act. It takes so little to change everything.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Explosive Timely Message with Artistic Subtle Elements 7 Jun. 2006
By Erika Borsos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is an elegant and subtle film about the lives of widow Ayesha and her teenage son Saleem and how the political and cultural climate of the past and present clash ... destroying their lives forever. Buried memories return to haunt the widow Ayesha ... until she can take no more. Saleem is nearing adulthood and is the indulged and only son of the widow. Ayesha prays at the graveside of her husband - supplicating Allah to provide a good marriage partner for Saleem. She asks for a daughter-in-law who will be of assistance with the housework as she ages. Saleem secretly meets Zubeida his girlfriend at the mosque. SThey discusses their future. Zubeida hates housework and talks of attending a women's college so she can work in an air conditioned office ... As they exchange kisses Saleem sees a bleak future for himself. He has limited opportunities, realistically he can either become a laborer in the fields or work as a clerk for a shopkeeper in town. Neither appeals to him, he is restless, unsettled, looking for a more meaningful existence and better working conditions ...

During a wedding celebration of a wealthy businessman ... two politically connected religious fanatics come to the village as guests of the groom. Their goal is to raise the concsiousness of the young people to new ideas about building an Islamic republic in Pakistan. One of them is so serious and focused, he does not even attend the wedding feast where a famous dancer is entertaining guests. Around this time, there is a political deal struck between India and Pakistan which allows the Sikhs, past residents of the village and political exiles to return and visit Pakistan. Many come to their former village to celebrate a religious holiday at the local temple. There is a heart-warming scene in which two Sikhs are walking on the hillside which overlooks the village. One reminisces how his dying father still talks about wanting to view the scenery and mountains from the paths they walk.

Saleem and his male friends attend the mosque and listen to the strongly worded emotional appeals of the Imam ... He whips up passion and obedience. He intertwines their religious fervor with spiritual messages and political rhetoric ... Saleem is seduced and wantw to help build a strong nation based on these distorted principles. Saleem becomes emotionally distant from his mother and girlfriend as the teachings take hold of his psyche. He comes home late one night and beseeches his mother to express her allegiance and beliefs publicly in the village square. He adds, "Or I will not be responsible for what happens." He asks, "What is wrong with standing out in the open and making a statement?" Ayesha has flashbacks of standing over a well looking down into the water. She remembers other girls doing the same. She recalls men surrounding the girls - somehow during the commotion ... she managed to run away and find shelter in a cave. In another flashback, a man proposes marriage and states that from then on her name will be "Ayesha", they marry. Meanwhile Saleem joins a mob as young men carry sticks and demonstrate in the village, chanting Islamic slogans ... Wary shopkeepers close their doors in acquiesence to the changing times and the implied and actual threats.

One of the Sikh men walks around the business district making inquiries about survivors of a politically charged tragic event of the past. Specifically, he is looking for someone, a female survivor whom he names. A Pakistani couple of Muslim background knows or suspects they know who the woman is. They debate whether or not to notify her about the visitor and his questions. The husband lets her know. The Sikh recalls the paths and buildings in the village and visits his former home: he sees Ayesha and calls out her former name, he is certain she is his sister. The suspense of this meeting and how the past and present collide to create highly charged emotional scenes that are politically and culturally based are difficult to describe, they must be viewed. The director deals sensitively and delicately with a difficult cultural issue. The scenes are superbly done with extraordinairy artistry and symbolism. The dramatic scenes are carefully crafted which makes them more poignant and real. The bonus material includes an interview with a Human Rights expert who deals with Muslim women's rights. This enhanced DVD brings full attention to how complacent the rest of the world is to the very real threats women face who live in this part of the world. It is sad how misguided beliefs and distorted value systems destroy the human spirit and are used as the excuse to kill people. This is a beautifully done artistic film which packs a powerful punch. It leaves the viewer more enlightened about the plight of women in parts of the Muslim world. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
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