Deepa Mehta's Water
draws a packed house in Karachi
Karachi, Jan 16, 2006
Indian film-maker Deepa Mehta has said that she
included a character resembling Mahatma Gandhi in
her new film Water because the Father
of the Nation was a symbol of impending social change
in India and was significant as at that time a law
allowing the remarriage of widows was passed. She
said that she preferred her latest film as compared
to her two earlier films - Fire and Earth.
Her new film attracted a packed house in Karachi
where it was screened for a select audience last evening.
Based on the life of widows in India prior to 1938,
when the widows had no right to remarry, the film
was shot in Sri Lanka, after vandals belonging to
the BJP and the Shiv Sena damaged the sets of the
film in Varanasi saying that the film was against
Indian culture and tradition.
She also explained that she picked Lisa Ray to play
the character Kalyani instead of Nandita Das as the
expectations of the character had changed by the time
she started relocating. I wanted someone with
a sense of naiveti and vulnerability, Mehta said,
adding that Ray fitted this description to perfection,
the Daily Times quoted her as saying.
With the help of the Canadian High Commission in
Islamabad, the KaraFilm Society and a major national
newspaper, Mehta's film Water, the last of the trilogy
that started with Fire and Earth, was shown at a private
screening at the city's new Arts Council auditorium,
and an eclectic group of people assembled, including
Hameed Haroon, the Afghan consul general's wife, Sherry
Rehman, Saquib Malik, Adnan Malik, Ayesha Tammy Haq,
Hasan Zaidi, Aamer Ahmed Khan, Cyrus and Toxy Cowasjee,
Arif Hasan and Deepak Perwani, the paper reported.
The film received validation from Canada when it
opened the Toronto film festival this year much to
the delight of its maker. And, while the Karachi Film
Society wanted Mehta to bring it to the festival this
year, she and her team decided that as the project
went through such trials in India, it was important
to screen it at the Kerala film festival first.
The Canadian High Commission (CHC) in Islamabad helped
arrange for the private screening