The Woman, Voice and the Subject of Freedom in The Patience Stone
Post 9/11 witnessed a sudden resurgence of literature/cinema rendering voices to
Afghanistan and especially to the “faceless and voiceless”, subaltern Afghani women. The burqa
clad community; with the multifaceted growing discrepancies of opinion about them around the
world, brought forth their unclaimed experiences which served as resistant modes of discourse.
Atiq Rahimi'sThe Patience Stone, a 2012 dramatic film based on his novel of the same name,
serves to unravel the mind of an unnamed woman through her monologues and ruminative
soliloquies- extraordinary confessions of hate, anger, love and sex; thoughts hitherto considered
unspeakable by a 'woman'. The words of the woman to her paralysed husband ineluctably
foreshadow a modality of power that unconsciously permits her individual self to experience a
catharsis. Re-examining the concept of subalternity of woman (Muslim woman/woman of the
East), one sees a certain change in her desires and thoughts transformed by her own discourse.
The subaltern gendered agency of this particular woman relates to her embodied capacitiesthose which come alive only when there is a silence of the heretofore dominating power (the
voice and desires of her husband). Does this concomitant reversal/shift of power in anyway
provide an answer to the woman's question of subalternity? What is the latent politics that makes
the unnamed woman inThe Patience Stone, a subaltern who experiences a euphoric kind of
freedom in speaking out her mind to her husband a quasi corpse? How and why does she
abstain from claiming freedom; but rather willingly choose to protect her vegetative husband?
Such questions from a Third World feminine perspective gives this film a scope for a valid