WATER
2005, Fox Searchlight, 117 min, Canada/India, Dir: Deepa Mehta

Eight-year-old Chuyia (Sarala Kariyawasam) is a child bride in India in 1938 when her husband dies; custom dictates that widows live out their lives in poverty and penitence. Sent to an ashram, her youthful presence galvanizes the other residents, inspiring one to - tragically - test the waters of love again. This poetic final film in director Deepa Mehta’s Elemental Trilogy earned well-deserved comparisons to the work of Satyajit Ray as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. “Exquisite ... Shifting between romantic melodrama and spiritual inquiry, WATER flows with the simplicity of a fairy tale.” - Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times. In Hindi with English subtitles.


EARTH
1998, Hamilton Mehta Productions, 110 min, Canada/India, Dir: Deepa Mehta

The second in a series of three films based on the elements, EARTH is an achievement of epic scope. Set in 1947, as India heaves violently forward toward independence, the film examines the life of Lenny, a young girl with polio who has grown up in a wealthy, nonpartisan family, and who must contend with the deep divisions, both personal and religious, that are beginning to scar her country. In Hindi, Gujarati, Panjabi, and Urdu with English subtitles.


FIRE
1996, Hamilton Mehta Productions, 104 min, Canada/India, Dir: Deepa Mehta

When originally released in India, director Deepa Mehta’s FIRE ignited a blaze of controversy for its portrayal of love between women within a patriarchal society. Though theaters were stormed by angry protesters, the film is not shock fodder but a sensitive look at two people stuck in empty marriages and looking for freedom. This delicate handling of a taboo subject creates a film that David Parkinson of Empire Magazine called “audacious, yet sensitive.” In Hindi with English subtitles.


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