Islam = Submission

Submission, a direct translation of the word "Islam," is a 10-minute film directed by Theo van Gogh and written by the eloquent Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel, depicting the plight of four different Muslim women who experience the injustice inherent in the writings of their religion.

Since saying anything negative about Islam is grounds for a death sentence, Theo van Gogh was assassinated on November of 2004 by a Muslim extremist who did not quite share van Gogh's views. The assassin also left a note threatening Ayaan Hirsi Ali's life as next.

The film strikes me as very symbolic. The narrator is dressed in black transparent garments, both concealing her body (as tradition dictates) and revealing what Allah has created but orders to hide: a beautiful woman, whom Allah is now forced to see through the sheerness of the fabric. The koranic text written in the women's bodies shows the physical and psychological pain inflicted on these women as a result of the words of their 'holy book' and scriptures. Finally, at the very end, when the narrator prays to Allah, she looks up, suggesting defiance and no longer submission to God, which is all the more interesting and ambiguous since she still prays.



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