Water

Index_06Maybe because it has become relatively easy and inexpensive to produce music and movies at home it has created a plethora of new film makers. I was thinking about this when I saw all of the previews today. Certainly the huge amount of film festivals has filled a void for Directors, Actors and Producers to show their stuff.  I can’t keep up with all the Indie films that come through New York. 

I had been reading about Water, a new film by Deepa Mehta.  This film is the third in a trilogy of films about India.  Mehta who was born in India in 1939 has come back home, she currently lives in Canada, to make films about realities in India that people want to believe don’t exist and India doesn’t want the Western world to see.

It took a long time to make this film.  Although the film was given the go ahead from the Ministry of Film, there were protests. People burned down the sets, there was delay after delay.  But, she persevered and made the film.  After seeing this film, I am going to rent the first 2 of the 3.

Water is filmed in the holy city of Varnassa that resides on the Ganges River.  The film is set in the 1930s.  It is about widows.  Indians believe that once you are a widow,  you are forced to reside among other widows.  You are now worthless.  The only other option is to die with your husband or if the family allows, marry the brother of your dead husband.  Gandhi tried to change these old traditions but unfortunately they still exist today.

An 8 year old girl becomes a widow.  She doesn’t even remember being married.  Her husband dies and her father leaves her at the "widow house".  The movie is slow but the crescendo is powerful.  How can an 8 year old girl spend the rest of her life having no life? 

Beautifully shot.  The Ganges is such a central part of their lives.  Bathing, holy water, using for food, etc.  There are a variety of characters that intertwine with the widows which gives the viewer much better insight into their world. 

As our country is pushing Democracy on the world it is so interesting to see a movie about a completely different culture.  It is eye opening.  We can’t even relate to the beliefs and world that they live in.  Although the movie focuses on the lives of a group of widows, the big picture is really what life was and still is in parts of  India.