The protagonists in absentia of Ayesha Rafaele’s documentary Veil (2000) are young British-Asian Muslim women who have decided to observe strict h. ijâb and decline to appear on either the visual-or soundtracks of the film. Their personal scripts about life in Britain and their veiled bodies are represented by proxy. The film purveys imagery of Muslim women from the past and present generated in Europe, the United States, and the Arab and Muslim worlds that culminates in footage of the burning of televisions in Taliban-run Afghanistan, an act intended to combat ‘idolatrous imagery’. The substitute narrator (Parminder K. Nagra) concludes in one woman’s words:

Layer after layer, image after image, all repeating the same old story. In every place around the world there are people at the top, the people in control . . . they want to leave you no place to hide, they want to get inside you . . . How can you judge? Who can you believe? How can you ever know what the true story is . . .? They say they have authority. But it means nothing to me.