Burning Down the House

   29 June 2005, mid-afternoon

Deepa Metha’s Water is set to open the Toronto International Film Festival this year. I’ve always wanted to watch her two other films, Fire and Earth, but have never had the chance. Fire is about lesbianism, Earth is about the partition of India and the violence that followed. Fire was particularly controversial when it came out. Now in India, when controversial films are released, it is not uncommon to see people on the streets torching cinemas. This was the case with Fire, and will probably be the case with Water, assuming it is ever shown in India. Mehta began filming Water in India, but constant harassment by various Hindu Nationalist groups forced her to film the movie elsewhere. What country did she feel would be suitable, yet safer for herself and her crew? Well, Metha finished filming Water in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka!

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Comments

  1. Censorship is pretty big in India. Movies like ‘Fire’ ruffles a few feathers.

    I haven’t seen ‘Earth’ but ‘Fire’ was thought provoking. Many Indians still don’t accept homosexual relationships. They consider it odd. And these sentiments are echoed not just by the Hindu nationalists but also the general populace, even places like Bombay.

    We can only hope that movies by Deepa Mehta can help change the perception. But its an uphill battle.

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