REVIEW of THE SHAPE OF WATER
Ms Magazine Spring 2007 p. 77

Topics such as environmental destruction, warfare, poverty and culturally sanctioned
violence against women do not usually inspire hope, but author and academic Kum-Kum Bhavnani's
exploration of women activists confronting these issues does exactly that. In her first film,
narrated by Susan Sarandon, Bhavnani follows women in Senegal, Brazil, India and Israel as
they work to overcome long-standing and emerging injustices. Highlighting the sisterhood of common
struggle, Bhavnani takes viewers inside the conflicts they face: Senegalese anti-female-genital-mutilation
activists argue whether to make health or sexuality central to their campaign; Jewish and
Arab Israelis fight together for peace as they clash over racism and social issues. Bhavnani avoids
portraying women in the developing world as exotic victims; her low-key style renders her subjects
brilliantly real.

The review is by Jenny Hahn.