Water (2005)

DEEPA MEHTA

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Canada/India, 2005.  Deepa Mehta Films, Flagship International, David Hamilton Productions, Echo Lake Entertainment, The Harold Greenberg Fund, Noble Nomad Pictures, Téléfilm Canada.  Screenplay by Deepa Mehta, dialogue by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

In India in the 1930s, a little girl is sent to an ashram when her husband of only a few days dies and leaves her a widow. There, she is housed with other women of her situation, enduring their bitterness at having to live in a society where they are treated hardly better than lepers. She befriends the house beauty (), a woman whose comforts are sold to local noblemen by the house matriarch as a method of economic survival, and witnesses as Ray loses her passive resistance when an idealistic university student () falls in love with her. It’s basically an Indian version of La Traviata, but in Deepa Mehta’s hands it is also a carefully studied, ever so delicate investigation of a society being crushed under the weight of its own prejudices. The photography is gorgeous, the acting is superb, and Mehta’s direction has rarely been better.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto International Film Festival:  2005

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