Set in colonial India against Gandhi's rise to power, it's the story of 8-year-old Chuyia, who is widowed and sent to a home to live in penitence; once there, Chuyia's feisty presence deeply affects the lives of the other residents.
A thesis picture. In 1938, Gandhi's party is making inroads in women's rights. Chuyia, a child already married but living with her parents, becomes a widow. By tradition, she is unceremoniously left at a bare and impoverished widows' ashram, beside the Ganges during monsoon season. The ashram's leader pimps out Kalyani, a young and beautiful widow, for household funds. Narayan, a follower of Gandhi, falls in love with her. Can she break with tradition and religious teaching to marry him? The ashram's moral center is Shakuntala, deeply religious but conflicted about her fate. Can she protect Kalyani or Chuyia? Amid all this water, is rebirth possible or does tradition drown all?Written by
Was shot back to back in both Hindi and English. Only the Hindi Version was released in theaters, but the English version can be seen on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD set. See more »
In the scene when Chuiya is first running up the steps after Kaalu, she is barefoot. When the camera switches perspectives, she has a pair of sandals on. In the next frame, she is barefoot again. See more »
This movie is not banned in India as said in some of the reviews. I have watched the movie on a legal DVD. It was released in movie theatres too. Like most of the other reviewers I too found it to be a great movie. I was disturbed for some days after watching this movie. But I must also add that the depiction of widows in the movie is not representative of Hindu community as of today. No one of my generation here talks of or is aware of Manu's Laws on which this movie is based. I come from a fairly conservative small town Hindu family . But I do not remember my widowed aunts, grandmothers or cousins being treated in the way depicted in this movie. None of them was banished to live in an 'ashram'. They stayed at home and led a quite but dignified life. A cousin of mine who lost her husband in an accident was remarried by her parents! I am not an ultra-rightist. I too deplore the harassment Deepa Mehta faced while shooting in Varanasi. But through this review I wanted to give a balanced picture especially to the western movie goers.
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