Water Works for Canada

Water: John and Lisa
Lisa Ray and John Abraham in Water.

Last month Telefilm Canada submitted Deepa Mehta’s Water, the third in her elements trilogy (which included Fire and Earth), as its official entry for the 2006 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year category.

That Water was completed is in itself a feat. The film was stalled and eventually shut down in India because of violent opposition by Hindu fundamentalists. After receiving death threats, Mehta was forced to relocate the shoot from Varanasi, India to an undisclosed location in Sri Lanka. Mehta, an Indian born Canadian citizen, received little help or protection from the Indian government during filming- largely because Mehta’s subject matter was considered controversial. Yet her adopted homeland of Canada submitted a Hindi language film, about Indian historical subject matters as an official entry.

Set in 1930s India, Water explores the institutionalized oppression of Hindu widows.

As you may already know, this film has received rave reviews from Salman Rushdie and film critics from the New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, and Time magazine. Here’s a peek at some of those reviews: “gorgeous fury,” “eloquent testament,” “Water seduces with its beauty and sorrow,” “exquisite storytelling.” Variety raved: “Deftly balancing epic sociopolitical scope with intimate human emotions, all polished to a high technical gloss, Water is a profoundly moving drama.”

This film is in real danger of winning and I for one could not be more excited. Let’s hope the American distributor Fox Searchlight pulls out all the stops.

October 4, 2006
Comments are closed.
  1. October 5, 2006, 9:54 am Hilal

    Water really moved me too–the best of the three films, I think. Any idea what’s next for Mehta?

  2. October 5, 2006, 1:04 pm Mili

    Rediff.com reports that Mehta is working on two films:The Julia Project & The Exclusion.

    More details are available at: http://www.rediff.com/movies/2006/sep/25deepa.htm