Water by Deepa Mehta

March 27th, 2007 by Adam

Deepa Mehta’s film Water will be the second to last presentation of the 2007 Plymouth State University International Film Series.

Water will be shown March 27 at 7 p.m. in the Frost Academic Commons on High St. The film is in Hindi with English subtitles.

Set in 1938 Colonial India, Water portrays Hindu widows living in an ashram, a home where they were expected to atone for sins of a previous life which had caused their husbands deaths.

Water begins with eight year old widow Chuyia arriving at the ashram. Her feisty presence stirs up the lives of other residents, most notably the forbidden romance between a beautiful widow/prostitute and a young idealist and follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

So powerful was the story woven through this film that fundamentalist Hindus forced the production out of India [water.mahiram.com/]. Water was filmed in Sri Lanka. Referencing this fanaticism, Louise Kennedy of the Boston Globe wrote, “The resulting story of outcast widows, though burdened by outbursts of melodrama in both its script and its score, nevertheless makes exactly the kind of powerful, grief- and rage-inducing statement that Mehta’s attackers must fear. If her plot sometimes beggars belief, so too do the religious laws that still keep millions of India’s widows trapped in a kind of living death. Water succeeds in its central goal: to turn a forgotten class of women into real, memorable human beings who deserve a different life. Chuyia, especially, is a widow you just can’t forget.”

The public is invited free of charge, and all films are followed by discussion and refreshments. For more information call Professor Peter Drexel, (603) 535-2696.

The final International Film Series presentation will be Everything is Illuminated, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.