IDFA Review: Things I Could Never Tell My Mother

Religion can be a strange beast. Previously intelligent and open-minded people can suddenly change their entire worldview if they fall under the sway of a new belief. This can cause problems with friends and family, even drive a wedge between them. While there’s often a desire to respect this change of direction, it can be a difficult balancing act when a new creed directly impacts on those closest to the new convert.

Bangladeshi Filmmaker Humaira Bilkis loves her mother dearly. Indeed, it has been her independent, artistic and progressive spirit which has helped shape the director to become the person she is today. However, following a trip to Mecca, she has become devout. Cloistered in her apartment, obeying the tenets of Sharia Law. Which gives her daughter a major problem. Things I Could Never Tell My Mother follows her dilemma.

Things I Could Never Tell My Mother is an intimate documentary which allows the filmmaker to wrestle with her internal conflicts. She is in a relationship with a Hindu man, which is forbidden according to Islam. This would previously have not been an issue, but her mother’s faith now raises a major conflict to resolve. One which threatens to rip both relationships apart. Things I Could Never Tell My Mother is a cathartic exercise in many ways. One which allows Bilkis to approach the subject from an unusual angle.

Things I Could Never Tell My Mother screens at IDFA.

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