An anecdote that I feel like sharing.
“So, what are your thoughts regarding the film?” our Histories and Theories of Documentary’s lecturer asked us the question during the seminar session after the screening.
“It’s amazing! I love the film.” one of my classmates shared his thought regarding the film.
And a few more thoughts were shared by others. My lecturer looked at me and asked, “so, what do you think about it, Ezzah?”
‘I don’t know sir, I didn’t watch it.” I said. “I didn’t watch the screen and it’s not in English, so I didn’t really understand what they were talking about.”
I’ve been meaning to write about this since a couple months ago but have postponed it. And now I feel like spilling it out. It’s one of the highlights of my 1st term here in USW.
I know this day will come.
As dear readers already know, I am now furthering my Bachelor Degree in Film and Video here in Wales, U.K. Watching films, making films and appreciating it are among the many things that I learn as a student. Here was what really happened that day.
As usual, Histories and Theories of Documentary class been held at CB205, one of uni’s cinema hall. We had lectures for about 90 minutes regarding a subject and then we watch a documentary that the lecturer’s had picked which manifested the elements that have been mentioned earlier in lecture. After the screening, we had another session, we called it seminar, where we had a discussion and talked about the film that we watch earlier.
Coming back to the dialogue extract above, it happened during one of the seminar session.
Earlier that day, the film screened was a documentary from Finland. It is film about the conversation that a few subject matters, which are all men, spilling out and sharing their thoughts while they were in sauna. In Finland, it’s seems like a cultural thing for men to be in sauna. They have like a tiny sauna build in their home or just some sort of external enclosed space. And yup. In short, it is about what men talk about and depicted venerability while there were in tiny space/ the sauna.
I didn’t watch it. All of them are fully naked. It’s a full length film with naked men in it. I just look down at my Ipad and read the notes for the seminar session throughout the film.
“Okay, that’s interesting” my lecturer add, “This is a different point of view. Why is that so?” he asked me.
“It is not modest. I am a Muslim and in Islam, men must cover up and shall not expose their private parts to other people. We call it Aurah, and it’s different for Muslim Men and Muslim Women, if you’re a Muslim Men, you should not expose from the knee to waist, and for women, you can only show, this part and this part (I point at my face and my hands). It is to protect and for our own good” I make it short and simple. I don’t want to be misunderstood and just for the sake of explaining why I didn’t watch the film.
“This is good.” My lecturer said. “It’s good to look at it at a different perspective.” He added.
I’m glad he said that. He respected my decision to not watch the film.
Ps. Please make dua for me to always be strong, patience and steadfast in this path . Ameen.
❤ Ezzah Mahmud