Auteur, Diaspora, Indian CInema, Parallel Cinema
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THE ELEMENTS TRILOGY – Directed by Deepa Mehta (Fire, 96 / Earth, 98 / Water, 05)

Director Deepa Mehta’s elements trilogy is arguably one of the key works of Indian cinema. Water, the final film in the trilogy, deals with the plight of Hindu widows in colonial India during the emergence of Gandhi as a leader. In the final sequence, Shakuntala (Seema Biswas) takes Chuyia (Sarala Kariyawasam), the child widow, to the train station so that she can meet Gandhi. Overwhelmed by his humility, Shakuntala races madly along the train platform and manages to pass Chuyia into the arms of Narayan (John Abraham). As the train moves away into the distance, the camera holds on Shakuntala’s paralysed figure. Change has certainly arrived but the laws of patriarchy remain static. A poignant ending to what is Mehta’s greatest achievement as a director.

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