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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


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