Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Deepa Mehta's Water

Amnesty International USA is supporting the film Water, directed by Deepa Mehta, a story about India's "widow houses," where women of all ages are taken to live apart from society following the deaths of their husbands. Read more about the film at the Amnesty website where there is also an appropriate opportunity to take action against gender violence. Mehta encountered threats of violence in making the film, detailed in this Talk of the Nation Interview. And here's the New York Times Review
"Water" is an exquisite film about the institutionalized oppression of an entire class of women and the way patriarchal imperatives inform religious belief. Serene on the surface yet roiling underneath, the film neatly parallels the plight of widows under Hindu fundamentalism to that of India under British colonialism. Though Gandhi and his followers are an insistent background presence, the movie is never didactic, trusting the simple rhythms of the women's lives to tell their story.
The film opens in Pasadena this weekend and a Rights Readers delegation is planning to check it out (with appropriate Indian feast afterwards!). 
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