Saturday, June 26, 2010


Deepa Mehta, India-Canada, 1998 (8.8*)

aka 1947: Earth

From the novel Cracking India by Sapsi Sidhwa, this courageous film from director Deepa Mehta on the 50th anniversary of Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan proves that she belongs in the ranks of brilliant worldwide female directors.

A small circle of friends in Lahore (which will become Pakistani) that surround the beautiful Hindu nanny Shanta, perfectly played by Nandita Das, represent all the major religious factions of India, and they are worried how the upcoming splitting of India into two countries will affect the major sub-cultures. Each side accuses the other of being the more violent historically, and you can feel the tensions rise as the event draws closer.

Events eventually culminate that will leave you emotionally shocked, and I'm sure this film generated much discussion. Banned in Pakistan, and with major censorship in India, especially for a sex scene which was still allowed to show a lot for that nation which generally bans onscreen kissing.

Part of a trilogy by Mehta, begun by Fire (96, also banned for its Lesbian theme), followed by the even more artistic Water (review to follow), about Hindu widows. She has a terrific photographer's eye, as well as a sensitivity to the effects of a society and its customs on the daily lives of individuals.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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