Private Project

The Value of Women

The 3-4000 Kalasha are a Non-Muslim minority in the Hindukush Mountains in NW-Pakistan.
Among the Kalasha a father gives his daughter animal husbandry in dowry as her personal property when she gets married. However, of biggest importance is the bride wealth given by the husband to his in-laws.
This film explores love, marriage and bride wealth.
Men and women of varying age and success in marriage and love tell their stories in words and poetry.
Bride wealth is frequently mentioned - as something a "heavy" (costly) woman can be proud of, as something to settle conflicts after a woman has eloped from an arranged marriage into a love marriage.
The producer has spent totally 2½ years among the Kalasha during the last 21 years.
In a way the film enters the discussion about what the dowry system means to the attitudes to women in the Indian Subcontinent.

  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Gender, Religion, ethnography
  • Runtime:
    40 minutes
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography

Birgitte Glavind Sperber: Born 1942, M.Sc. in Biology and Geography from University of Copenhagen. Retired senior lecturer in Geography and Biology from University College South in Denmark.
Every year 1983-2008 and in 2018, 2019 and 2022 long stays, in total over 2½ years, among the Kalasha, a non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan .
Education in social anthropology from Aarhus Open University. Author of books and ethnographic papers on the Kalasha.
Since 2000 shooting with a camcorder.
First film made at Danish Film Institute’s Video-workshop in Haderslev in 2001.
Since then working alone at my computer at home.
12 of my Kalasha documentaries have been selected for screening at 24 international film festivals. Two have been awarded ("The Last Honours" and "Kalasha Medicine").

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Director Statement

The interviewees were informed about the project making a film to tell people abroad about their traditions for marriage and love. Among the Kalasha, the stories are general knowledge and frequently talked about.