Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan AND The Other Side of the Burka

Two video documentaries. In Petr Lom's Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan (2004, 50 min.) women in the post-Soviet state describe being kidnapped by poor families who want their sons to marry but can't afford to pay a bride price. Two victims escape, two more marry happily, and a fifth commits suicide—though her family wonders if she was murdered. The kidnappers come across as ignorant thugs, but in a country where one in three rural women is married off without her consent, this is business as usual. Even more depressing, Mehrdad Oskouei's The Other Side of the Burka (2004, 51 min.) investigates a rash of suicides on the remote island of Qeshm, where married women don burkas and muzzlelike leather masks and rarely leave home. The first is in subtitled Kyrgyz, the second in subtitled Farsi.

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