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Digvijay Singh makes his directorial debut with this understated neorealist drama about child abuse and recalcitrant social traditions. The film centers on Maya, a happy, carefree 12-year-old girl who lives with her wealthy adopted family. She is close friends with her adoptive brother, Sanjay, who is her match in athletic prowess and penchant for pranks. The first half of the film is a sun-dabbled idyllic portrait of childhood, as the two run and prance about the rural Indian landscape. Things radically change though when Maya gets her first period. Considered a grown-up, she is separated from Sanjay and enlisted to do housework. Worse, she is sent home to her birth family -- a family she never knew -- and forced to endure a ritual deflowering at the hands of a local priest. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Maya
The photography is gorgeous, though, and with Singh's precise, discreet direction, Maya has a devastating impact.
Contains such a pile driver gut-punch that it makes Ray's work look like wistful little poems.
Striving too hard to make his didactic point, the director arouses skepticism rather than empathy.
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