"Devi" (Hindi, 1960): Directed by Satyajit Ray, and banned in India until the intercession of Nehru, this is the story of a lovely 17 year old wife, who is suddenly labeled as a "Goddess" (while her husband is absent to complete his final exams in college), due to a dream ("vision") by her father-in-law. What follows is a fascinating, multi-angled look at the transitional Indian culture (and MOST cultures, frankly). Is this any different, any worse, or any more desperate than seeing the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich or the grain of a wooden door? Is her overnight change in status unique? Are the people who have confused motives, hopelessness, or malleable minds any less vulnerable here and now? The quality of the video copy I viewed was rough a copy of a copy of a copy yet even then, the power of Ray's vision shines through. This is a serious, beautiful, insightful, tragic film. (It has something of a "cousins" relationship to the film "Anchoress".)
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