Earth (1998)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  7 July 1999 (Belgium)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,345 users   Metascore: 71/100
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It's 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl bears witnesses to tragedy as her ayah is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dil Navaz
Hassan, the Masseur
Maia Sethna ...
Lenny Sethna
Babby Singh ...
Kitu Gidwani ...
Bunty Sethna
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Hariya / Himmat Ali
Kabir Chowdhury ...
Cousin Adi
Arif Zakaria ...
Rustom Sethna
Mr. Rogers (IG)
Mr. Singh
Lauren Walker ...
Mrs. Rogers
Cinia Jain ...
Mrs. Singh
Navtej Singh Johar ...
Sher Singh
Pavan Malhotra ...


The movie opens in Lahore of 1947 before India and Pakistan became independent. It is a cosmopolitan city, depicted by the coterie of working class friends who are from different religions. The rest of the movie chronicles the fate of this group and the maddening religious that sweeps even this city as the partition of the two countries is decided and Lahore is given to Pakistan. Written by Neel V Kumar <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

india | muslim | hindu | friend | sikh | See All (189) »


Drama | Romance | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

7 July 1999 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

1947: Earth  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$42,449 (USA) (10 September 1999)


$528,972 (USA) (14 April 2000)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Author Bapsi Sidhwa has a cameo at the end of the movie, as older Lenny. See more »


Follows Fire (1996) See more »


Raat Ki Dal Dal Hai
Performed by Sukhwinder Singh
Composed by A.R. Rahman
See more »

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User Reviews

Partition between 2 countries; destroying love, friendship, and innocence
16 October 1999 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I find it quite ironic how 2 countries who separate due to their religion status; deals with it thru defying their religion (killing people, torturing people, etc). But it happened, and the people living at this time amongst this chaos, has stories that they need to tell. Like an anecdote from some animosity or experience that they need to alleviate themselves from by writing books.

This movie is based on the fiction novel "Cracking India," by Bapsi Sidhwa. And although this book is fiction, it is based upon Sidhwa's life experience. The adaptation of this book, "Earth," is very much alike this book.

The movie is about a young girl, Lenny, who has polio. She cannot play with and like other children, so she spends all her time with Shanta (Ayah), who takes care of her like her own mother. Lenny, is from a Parsee family. Parsees in India, have always been invisible within the time of the Muslim and Hindu uproar. They do not get effected by the war; Parsees are very wealthy. Yet, Shanta is Hindu; and during the division of Pakistan and India, Lahore remains on the Pakistan side. Yet Shanta doesn't want to leave Lahore, because she had been w/Lenny's family for a long time; and she felt safe within a Parsee household. Yet she is beautiful and is loved by many men; most importantly, by 2 Muslim men. Yet, before Partition really causes problems, Lenny, Shanta, and the two men who love Shanta, are all together as friends. They did not see or predict how the environment at that time would change them all; and destroy their friendship. But it did.

"Earth" has very graphical images of the horrors during Muslim and Hindu riots. It made people angry, it made people want revenge. There were children who were lost, because their parents were killed by a Muslim or a Hindu. Is this justice? The movie seperates revenge from justice. Justice isn't revenge, because the actions taken aren't just.

A very good metaphor that keeps me thinking and thinking in the movie. This is when Ice Candy man tells Lenny why she is afraid of the lion in the cage; Its because the lion wants to come out it wants revenge, it wants to be free, but once the cage is open, what would happen? Lenny in the end of the movie asks, "who's guarding the lions?" Ice Candy Man answers "nobody." This is symbolic to how no one was controlling this bloodshed between the Hindus and Muslims. Once the cage is open, revenge and hatred comes out; this is the price for their freedom.

I liked how the narrator was Lenny, why? (Besides the fact this is based on Sidhwa's book).Because she is a young girl, she just turns 9 years old. What she experiences in this movie is not supposed to happen to an 9 year old. She is young, but in the end; she becomes an adult; she has seen and gone thru what innocence isn't supposed to see.

The anecdote? Well if u see the movie, you'll see why this time and the politics at this time affected this girl at her stage in life. The everlasting regret and feeling that you have betrayed someone so close to you, because of a tragedy effected by the actions and response by people about the Partition of Pakistan and India.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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