The Ground Beneath Their Feet HRAFF review

Originally published at  Right Now’s Top 10 HRAFF 2015 Picks

The Ground Beneath Their Feet | Nausheen Dadabhoy

Film review by Samaya Borom

On the morning of 8 October, 2005, Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir suffered an earthquake which killed 82 thousand people, injured a further 100 thousand and rendered 3.5 million people homeless. Nausheen Dadabhoy’s The Ground Beneath Their Feet follows the story of two women who suffered spinal injuries and who must learn to deal with their injuries as well as social expectations around the role of women in Pakistani society.

Ruqiya and Khalida are two women who were injured in the quake and are forced to re-evaluate their position in society which revolves around defined gender roles. The film follows the the women over a period of five years, from the rehabilitation hospital to returning home to villages and the challenge they face in terms of mobility and acceptance around their disability.

The Ground Beneath Their Feet is an intimate look into the complexities around disability and how this affects gendered roles within established Muslim communities. The documentary will appeal to those viewers interested in the intersection between culture and disability, in particular how familial and social mechanisms can impact upon the way in which a community deals with disaster and disability.


Published by

Samaya Argüello

Criminology lecturer, PhD candidate, film and literature reviewer. Specialties include international law and international criminal law, human rights and security.

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