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.
It's 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl witnesses tragedy as her ayah (nanny) is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.
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Luigi Lo Cascio,
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
George Lucas took out a full-page ad in "Variety" to support Deepa Mehta in her struggle to make this film when Indian authorities made clear their intentions to shut the production down. See more »
Kalyani's dog appears older in the scene in which it escapes than the next time it is shown. See more »
Why are we widows sent here? There must be a reason for it.
One less mouth to feed. Four saris saved, one bed, and a corner is saved in the family home. There is no other reason you are here. Disguised as religion, it's just about money.
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In addition to the Hindi language version, an English language version was also shot (back-to-back). See more »
I saw this film on a Saturday afternoon in a theater with about 40 other people, split about 60/40, females to males. All ages although the younger viewers were mainly female. (late teens) Towards the end, as I was choking back tears and grabbing at Kleenex's, I looked around as there was total silence from the audience. It was AWED SILENCE, people! Every woman was bawling her eyes out and the men, without exception, were scrunched down into their collars, staring intently, holding back tears. This is Deepa's finest hour. She can retire now knowing she has made a worthy film. I would have voted 10 but there were a few technical glitches such as one moment were the color/lighting changed for about 3 seconds in an important scene and then snapped back. No blame to Deepa, though. I have sent several to see the film and all have raved about it, Can hardly wait to buy the DVD and see it again. The criticisms were political and should not be considered. Any film that criticizes aspects of a religion gets blasted from fundamentalists. This film is NOT a political statement. It is entertainment based on a political statement. It should not be missed. Brava!!!
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