Testimony of Ana – Documentary Review

What’s it All About

The Testimony of Ana‘ tells the story of Ana. Ana has lived in the same village in India since she was born, having inherited her property from her father when he passed away. The villagers are now accusing Ana of being a witch, and attempt to drive her out of the village. A witch doctor is hired to come in, and torment her for four straight nights. She is beaten and battered horrendously, but lives to tell the tale. While having a strong faith in God, and a humble heart, she still believes in justice, and refuses to leave her village, even though only four of her assaulters were arrested, and two of them are out on bail.


My Opinion

I found it heartbreaking to learn that there are still such ignorant people in the world who generate such animosity and violence towards others whom they either don’t like, or don’t understand. It’s difficult to comprehend what the mindset of someone is who cannot think of how another individual who is different than them might have the same thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and that we are all part of the human experience together.

Initially, I was a slightly put off by Ana mentioning a few times that she was being pushed, and that she needed some privacy. It became obvious however that the filmmakers had a great deal of empathy for Ana in making this film to give her a voice. I do believe that she wanted her story to be told, and that it could potentially help in her search for justice. I was sensitive to the fact that she didn’t necessarily want to recount each detail of her attack because as she communicated, it only brought up bad memories and sorrow.

The Verdict

In all, ‘The Testimony of Ana’ was a very thorough rendering of very primitive injustices that are perpetuated in our world. It’s hard to think that in this day and age there can still be witch hunters, and that an entire community can be of the same debased mindset as to target someone who is an upstanding, contributing member of society. Hopefully, with films like these, awareness can be raised, and the silent minority can take a stand against what is an obviously unethical and immoral act.

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J. P. Gordon

Independent film enthusiast, frequent Sundance attendee, writer, avid lover of cats and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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