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Silent Waters - Khamosh Pani (PK/D/F 2003)                                


Khamosh Pani Khamosh Pani  

The Movie is the story of Ayesha, a seemingly well-adjusted middle aged woman in the Pakistani Punjab. The center of her life is her son Saleem.

In 1979 Pakistan becomes an Islamic state by law. Saleem joins a group of Muslim fundamentalists and Ayesha's placid life is about to change rapidly.


The Countess
Women Without Men
Nothing but Ghosts
Trip to Asia
La Fine del Mare
Paradise Now
Jena Paradies
Silent Waters

Director Sabiha Sumar  
Camera Ralf Netzer  
Sound Uve Haußig  
Production Design Olivier Meidinger  
Costumes Heike Schultz-Fademrecht  
Editing Bettina Böhler  
Line Producer Peter Hermann  
1st AD Julia Rose  
Unit / Location Manager Ellen Teschendorf  
Producers Satchithanandam Sathananthan  
  Helge Albers  
  Philippe Avril  
Principal Cast Kirron Kher  
  Aamir Malik  
Production Companies Vidhi Films, Karachi  
  Flying Moon Filmproduktion, Berlin  
  Unlimited, Strasbourg  
  ZDF, Das kleine Fernsehspiel/arte  
Filming Locations Pakistan: Wah Village, Hassan Abdal, Rawalpindi  
Shooting Period 2001/2002  
Format S16 mm > blow up 35 mm Farbe / 99 Min.  
Cinema Release Germany Academy Films, 02.09.2004  
Awards 56. International Film Festival Locarno  
  International Competiton, 6. - 16.8.2003:  
  Golden Leopard (best film)  
  Silver Leopard (best female interpretation for Kirron Kher)  
Historical Background  

Silent Waters is based on actual events that took place when the Indian sub-continent was partitioned in 1947 into two new states - India and Pakistan. It was a time of intense violence. In pre-Partition Punjab, Muslims and Sikhs had lived side-by-side; but during The Partition men from both sides of the religious divide slaughtered each other. Each looted the other's property, which included their respective women: little distinction was made between robbing cattle and abducting women. Muslim men abducted Sikh women while Sikh men abducted Muslim women. The women were raped, sold, bought and, sometimes, murdered; some ended up marrying their abductors.

From the women’s point of view, they faced danger from two sides. The immediate threat came from males within their families. Their fathers, brothers or husbands forced them to commit suicide to preserve chastity and protect family and community honour. If they escaped death at the hands of the family patriarchs, they were targeted by men from across the religious divide as ‘nothing dishonours the enemy more than dishonouring his womenfolk’. Ironically, though, the women stood a better chance of survival against strangers who were less interested to kill them and more keen to dishonour the ‘enemy’ community.
The official estimate of the number of abducted women was placed at 50,000 Muslim women in India and 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women in Pakistan. But it is feared that the actual number of abducted women was much higher.
The two new States of India and Pakistan entered into a formal agreement in November 1947 to recover abducted women on both sides of the border and restore them to their original families. However, most women who survived had set up home; had had children and appeared to have adjusted to their new lives. Although they refused to be repatriated, the law was not to be moved by the real circumstances of such women. It decreed that a ‘recovered’ woman must be repatriated: the woman had no right to exercise her choice. By December 1949 the number of ‘recoveries’ in both countries was 12,552 for India and 6,272 for Pakistan. In hundreds of cases that were reported, ‘recovered’ women were rejected by their fathers, husbands and brothers as being ‘impure and dirty’. Today there are over 2,000 women languishing in various ashrams (houses of refuge) in India ­ rejected by their own families and unable to return to their adopted families across the border.
In Pakistan, with the onslaught of Islamic fundamentalism from 1979, these seemingly well-adjusted women once again came under threat because of their non-Muslim past. For them this was Partition all over again. Religious intolerance and obscurantism threatened to undo everything they had built around themselves since 1947.

Related Links Crew and Cast List (@ IMDB)  
  More about the Film (Flying Moon Filmproduktion)