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Agnes MacDonnell (Greta Scacchi), a strong and self-confident Englishwoman in her forties, owns a large estate on an island off the coast of Northern Ireland. When she begins a passionate ... See full summary »
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Andrew Crocker-Harris is an embittered and disliked teacher of Greek and Latin at a British public school. After nearly 20 years of service, he is being forced to retire on the pretext of ... See full summary »
One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »
A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is ... See full summary »
Police Inspector Ghote lives a middle-class life in Bombay along with his wife, Pratima. He has been employed with the Bombay Police for many years. His wife is generally disgruntled and ... See full summary »
Roughly structured over 24 hours, we visit Pavan Pool, a compound in Bombay where poor women sing, dance, and engage in prostitution. By day, they practice singing and dancing, both ... See full summary »
Lawyer Wakem takes away the mill on the river Floss from Edward Tulliver, whose ancestors owned it for 300 years, and becomes the worst enemy of Tulliver's family. When Edward's daughter, ... See full summary »
Staten Island Cab-driver, Bipin Raj, picks up a passenger, mistakes her for a movie star, but tells her that his brother, Vikram Raj, is a very well-known Bollywood mega-star with millions ... See full summary »
1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by
Sensitive look at complexity of British colonialism
A sensitive look at the difficulties faced by a woman in colonial India, during the period when nationalism was starting to set in. The story opens with an India-born Englishwoman who goes into labour, is taken to the hospital, and gives birth to a sickly child. When it turns out that her milk doesn't come in, a nurse with mixed British/Indian heritage takes pity on her, finds a wet nurse, moves into her house, and begins to manipulate the situation to her own advantage.
As the story progresses, the husband's infidelity and disassociation is presented, as is the blindness of the wife, and the racist superiority of the expatriate British community. The Englishwoman's preteen daughter turns out to be the voice of reason who opens the woman's eyes to the situation as it is.
This is a slow-paced visually interesting story that focuses a great deal of attention on nurturing and nursing, and the complexity of a materially richer culture clashing and feeding on a materially poorer one.
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