‘Vow Of Silence’ is an uncommon and provocative short film for its subject matter — married women and sexual satisfaction.
Seen through the eyes of a young mother and wife, Claire’s struggles with her unfulfilled urges and societal pressure leads to a drastic decision.
Its director Anna Isabelle Matutina was inspired to make this film after intimate conversations with female friends where she found a pervasive sense of helplessness and fear of backlash from opening up to one’s partner.
Below, Anna shares insight into key scenes in ‘Vow Of Silence’, from the invisible burden of the wedding ring, to the shocking threesome that takes place in the end.
Why Claire takes off her wedding ring during her sexual escapades:
“The wedding ring is a chain, tying down the woman to her role as a sex-slave, and it’s only by removing it that the woman sets herself free. She removes it during that night of infidelity that opens the film.”
How guilt manifests into a physical reaction:
“She pukes in disgust at the roles she has to play, at the oppressive social institutions that allows her freedom only at night, in stealth, and always with so much guilt.”
The sinister overtone behind her husband’s hugs:
“She lies down beside the man who doesn’t even really have to enchain her to tie her down. The ring, the institution of marriage, does that for him, without him needing to use force. Inside this prison, a hug is not an embrace, but a kind of constriction. It’s tender, but it’s kind of when police put their arms around you to stop you from escaping. You’re under arrest.”
The power play behind the threesome:
“She almost falls into the hands of another man, but this time she gathers the courage and the urge to resist. She tells the man to just watch, and for the first time, the man is just a passive observer. He is excluded, reduced to being a pimp. It is from another woman that she finds escape.”
The other man in her life brings Claire back to reality:
“She goes home and her son accosts her, tenderly reminding her of her roles, forcefully putting her in place. “