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Fire, Earth and Water

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These three films garnered considerable attention and critical acclaim for Deepa Mehta, the Indian born, Toronto based film maker.

Two women, one who is married to an ascetic who has taken a vow of celibacy, the other to a philanderer, turn to each other to help fulfill their empty lives. Fire from 1996 was especially controversial.

Second in the trilogy was 1998's Earthwhich follows the lives of two young lovers, one Hindi, one Muslim who live in the cosmopolitan city of Lahore, India. As the 1947 partition of India takes place, the lives of the lovers are ripped apart---as is the city and the entire sub continent. Perhaps as many as 10 million people were displaced as entire communities travelled between the newly formed countries of Pakistan and India. By some estimations as many as one million were killed.

The final installment is 2005's Water--- the story of a young widow--young as in about 8 years old, circa 1938. After the death of a husband she has never met, she is left with three choices-marrying the younger brother of the deceased, self emolation on a funeral pyre or a life of celibacy, discipline and solitude amongst other widows. While living in the widow's ashram she becomes friends with a young woman who is hoping to take advantage of a newly passed law and marry a man of her own choosing.

All three have strong cinematograhic appeal, absorbing characters, and compelling subject matter.


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