“Your name is the Dark One, your complexion that of the Dark One,
But within you lies brilliant resplendence…”
For a society that trivializes and debases women, we have always longed for a touch of the sacred feminine, the goddess energy.
We embrace Durga, the benevolent mother and just as easily, we worship Kali. The Dark one. Reminiscent of the devouring mother figure, slaying demons as she purges the earth of its sinners and deviants. Sure, we live in a world manipulated by masculine rules-forever fighting a paternal lawsuit of sorts. But we crave for a paradigm shift which manifests itself in our worship of the violent, highly sexual Kali. The brazen one who steps on her husband as he lies at her feet. She has been venerated for centuries in Bengal.
The image is a poster of the film Debi by Satyajit Ray. Set in late 19th Century Bengal, it traces the psychological breakdown of a young, newly married woman, deemed a goddess, a reincarnation of Kali, by her devout father-in-law, the family patriarch. The film raises a lot of problematic questions- the goddess-fixation of a chiefly androcentric society, the conditional brainwashing of powerless women, and the fanatical worship of a mother goddess by an imposing father figure. The film traces the tragic turn of events set in motion by the extreme homage paid to dark devi, and how it fragments the life of a young bride.
A powerful film, with a powerful message that holds true to this date.