SHROUDED IS A very short film – but it lives with you for days after you’ve watched it. In its tiny form it is a film of jarring contradictions and shuddering earthquakes that make you confront your prejudices and your expectations.
Just as you think you know where this narrative is going, it wallops you in the face with an unexpected turn in the story – perhaps hitting all the harder as it packs its punch into its petite form.
The ambiguity in the title hints at what is to come. To the ear of someone who has grown up in an English speaking Christian context, a shroud is a cloth in which a dead body is wrapped as part of the preparation for burial. Is this the right word to use to describe Islamic dress? But the word “shroud” has gone beyond its literal meaning and it is also used to describe a misty covering which is obscuring the vision. When the shroud is lifted, truth is revealed…
To tell you what happens would be to spoil the film for you, so all we can do is summarise its themes.
•Boy meets girl and hangs round the estate. They Like Each Other. We know where this is going: it’s just a conventional… no, turns out it’s not.
•Girl goes to Bangladesh for what seems like a holiday. We know what happens when… no, turns out we don’t.
•Islamic dress, violence against women – the bread and butter issues of life in the East End, we are set in our views on them all, aren’t we? No. Not any more.
As the unexpected happens, we journey with the players in this drama and as we watch them react to events we see these concepts in a new light.
Shrouded was written and co-produced by Cllr Rabina Khan, before she was elected to the Council. Working with Scotland Yard after 9/11, she was looking for new and different ways to challenge prejudice and extremism. The film is pure art, but it has been used on training courses and is a good starter for a discussion in any kind of community group or educational setting.
Eight years after Shrouded was produced, Cllr Khan returned to some of its themes in an article in The Independent, looking once more at what happens to women who stand their ground, who fight for their rights, who won’t back down.
Cllr Khan once said, “There are no such people as the voiceless. There are only those people who choose not to listen.” Now you must make your choice. Please listen.
•View Shrouded on our sister channel LB24TV:
Shrouded on LB24TV
•Read Cllr Khan’s article in The Independent:
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