Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WATER, Deepa Metha


The Indian film, Water, by Deepa Metha [part of her trilogy that includes Earth and Fire] must have come and gone without scratching my consciousness. It was made in 2005 and nominated for a Best Foreign Film. I saw it yesterday as part of a free film series at the community college emphasizing films by or about women, of which Doris Dorree's film about which I wrote was a part.

This film is about widows forced into communal poverty and begins with a 7 year old girl who has just become a widow and is taken to live in an ashram with a very mixed society of widows. The story is deeply sad in many ways, although it was set in 1938 when laws were beginning to change and Ghandi and his followers were struggling for change -- a struggle the widows were barely aware of. The story was told in a lyrical, quiet way, the photography was very beautiful. This emphasized the feeling I had very strongly when I was in India several years ago: no matter how much poverty and want is abundantly visible, there is always striking beauty to be seen.

Little did I know when I moved here nearly two years ago that I would have available to me the amount of cultural experiences -- often free -- that I am enjoying. I think it's true almost anywhere that cultural experiences exist, but one has to watch for them, and make the effort of going to them. Only mediocrity comes to people easily via the TV and other media -- the good stuff must be sought out.

2 comments:

nacodoches said...

It took me years to have an understanding of India, which I continue to expand via friendships with various Indian American friends living here in my city. I have not traveled there although I have had the chance more than once. Given the circumstances of my life, I probably will never get there except via books and films. Thanks for alerting me to this series. I am particularly fond of women and history films. Dianne

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- yes, you are so right -- the good stuff has to be sought out. You seem to find so many cultural events in your area. I too am fortunate -- having concerts, book readings, lectures etc in the area where I live. I did see the film that you mentioned on your post. It was exceptional. -- barbara