The burkha is seen as an oppressive garment but can it also be liberating?

Lipstick under my burkha From exploring sexual urges to chasing secret dreamsFacebook/ Lipstick under my burkha
Features Cinema Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 13:25

Written by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha, the teaser for "Lipstick under my burkha" looks all kinds of awesome.

The story explores the secret lives of four women played by Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur. Set in Bhopal, the four characters appear to be an aged woman who takes on a young lover, a frustrated middle aged housewife, a sexually-charged young woman with a somewhat non-committal boyfriend, and a college girl who wants to become a pop singer.

Dreams, aspirations, and their libido are just some of the things the female characters in the film discover - and it happens away from the prying eyes of society, thanks to the freedom that the burkha, usually considered to be an oppressive garment, offers. The burkha has had a long and contentious history and the debate has only become more heated thanks to Islamophobia.

Feminists across the world are divided on the issue. While Western feminists tend to see the garment as a symbol of women's oppression, their Asian, African and Middle Eastern counterparts have reclaimed the burkha to make a political statement and exercise their cultural freedom. It will be interesting to see how Alankrita's film walks the tightrope. And how many she angers and delights in the process.


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