Deepa MehtaCanada / India114 minutes2005ColourEnglish Hindi Sanskrit
The conclusion of Deepa Mehta's Elements Trilogy is set in an ashram where a group of widows, ranging in age from seven to 70, are confined to live out the rest of their lives after the deaths of their husbands.
The conclusion of Deepa Mehta's Elements Trilogy and possibly the director's most beloved work, Water had a particularly fraught production history: the initial shoot was scuttled when the film's Indian sets were burned down by Hindu fundamentalists, forcing Mehta to remount the film three years later, gathering a new cast and shooting secretly in Sri Lanka. Set in Varanasi in the late 1930s, against the backdrop of Gandhi's non-violent protests and campaign to better the condition of women, Water takes place in an ashram where widows both old and young (including a girl of seven) are sent to live out their lives in austerity after the deaths of their husbands. When a beautiful young widow (Lisa Ray) who has been forced into prostitution by the ashram's imperious overseer begins an affair with a wealthy follower of Gandhi, the stage is set for tragedy. At once intimate and epic, Water was an international hit and received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.