No drama as women get peek behind the veil
BRONWYN TORRIE AND MICHELLE COOKE
The no-men policy might be controversial but what's actually depicted is quite normal, say women who took a "peek behind the burqa" at the Dowse Art Museum.
While the leadup to the opening of the three-minute-film Cinderazahd: For Your Eyes Only at the Lower Hutt gallery on Saturday drew controversy, the opening was less dramatic. Women went into a storage area behind reception to view the video while menwaited outside.
"We've had no trouble, we didn't expect any, and we haven't had any," Dowse director Cam McCracken said.
"The women who have seen it have said that they've really enjoyed it, that it's a real eye-opener. It's funny, it's sweet and I think they feel a real affinity with the women that are depicted."
The gallery was not any busier than on any other weekend, he said.
Tony Billingham was happy to wait outside while his wife Alana saw the film alone. She called it "a peek behind the curtain, or a peek behind the burqa".
"It's very normal in that it shows women getting ready for a wedding, but it's something you wouldn't get to see unless through this medium."
Saturday's screening was part of a wider exhibition, In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary. Cinderazahd looks into a Muslim woman's world as a group of friends prepare for a wedding. They are shown without hijabs, or veils.
The decision to ban men from seeing the film was met with fierce opposition from some locals, who took their grievances to the Human Rights Commission.
One of them, Wellington's Paul Young, said while the mediation details were confidential, no agreement was reached about whether the women-only piece was legal. It would have to be tested at a higher level.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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