https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RewNn2r2P3g “Water” is a 2005 Canadian film directed by Deepa Mehta and chronicles the lives of widows in India at an ashram in Veranasi. The story begins with a eight year old child is widowed and moved into the ashram.
“Water” is the third and final installment of Mehta’s “Elements Trilogy” all with controversial topics such as single gender love, and friendship between people of various religions. Mehta never preaches, but just tells her story for the audience to see and learn from ,if they desire. The film received much acclaim in the Western world, but not in Inida. The conservative Hindus who follow the ancient religious law felt that widows of all ages have three choices:
1. Marry the younger brother of her deceased husband.
2. Throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. ( This practice is against the law in India.)
3. Live a holy and secluded life in an ashram with other widows.
The film was to be shot in Varanasi, making this a follow-up of my post yesterday. But in this holiest of Hindu cities, Mehta was met with violent resistance. The night before the beginning of filming, the equipment and set were destroyed and dumped into the Ganges. The filming was put on hold for several years and then moved to Bangladesh to film this story near to her heart. The setting doesn’t resemble the ghats on the Ganges in Varanasi, which you will recognized from the post yesterday, and there are no palm trees in Varanasi.
None the less, the story was told. Deep Mehta shown light on this ancient practice which needed to be change. In the film, the obvious question of “why?” is answered. The widow is reduced to “another mouth to feed” in a country of great poverty. It is a jolting, though, in a country that outwardly honors elders to discover that widows are excluded. . . . . . . .
Ashram is traditionally a spiritual monastery in Hindi. Today it has been expanded to a place for art, yoga, and or martial arts.
The beautiful young widow is forced into prostitution to help feed the other widows. She is allowed to keep her long hair.
Film should be available on Netflix along with “Earth” and “Fire.”