|Still from the film, Arabana|
‘Arabana’ (2007) by Nayla AlKhaja, is a six minute documentary film which talks about the sexual abuse of young girls.
The film portrays how a young girl leaves the house without the mother’s awareness, and is taken by the gardener to his house, is sexually abused and sent back with a lollipop. At her house, as she opens and eats the lollipop, the young girl throws the wrapper under her bed, where we see more wrappers, this showing that this isn’t the first time the gardener is molesting her.
The message of the movie is neglect by parents in the region and how a child, deprived of love and affection is abused by a stranger. The love shown by the gardener is misunderstood by the young girl, as she is not aware of the exact deliberations of affection.
The name ‘Arabana’ comes from the Arabic word for wheel barrow which is seen in the beginning of the movie where the gardener is seen using it. The director draws a connection with the wheel barrow and the gardener to send across a message that the gardener is also involved predominantly.
The director is able to show the issue in a span of six minutes and the message comes across like a bullet hitting its target. There are no extra visuals or explanations and the audience are able to understand what the director is trying to communicate. Through this movie, it is a lesson for the parents to keep a close watch on their children.
Report by Christine Marie Cherian