Monday, September 03, 2007  

Film To See (and See again)

Like I said, have been watching films after it has cooled off some and so watched Earth with M who has been telling me it is one of the most moving films on partition made to date, and I must say, I wholeheartedly agree. For anyone feeling any curiosity about how India and Pakistan came about in this, their 60th year.. this film bears watching.

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Earth is Deepa Mehta's amazing film, based on the book, "Cracking India" (a great title if ever there was one) about the partition of India. This part of her trilogy Earth, Fire, Water, of which I had already seen one (Water). When I saw it, I stood in awe of its story and the cinematography.

With Earth, I felt that the story was much more compelling than the cinematography- although this may be that I was learning about events I had only heard about such as the mass murders on the trains bringing refugees out of the split sections of Punjab (what became Pakistan and India). Indeed, what I found interesting was the horrific subtlety of the scenes depicting some of the most shocking violence of partition and it got me thinking: in an area in which multiple religions and ethnic groups have lived in relative harmony for 1,000's of years, how does the fabric of a society get rent so violently in such a short time? Does colonialism have anything to do with it, or does each group secretly harbor hope for an individual homeland, a hope passed down through the privately expressed mythology of each?

I'm going to have to watch it again, since I am sure, in my being caught up in the story, there was so much I didn't catch. I'll write something more profound after a 2nd viewing, including something about the touching and charming kite flying scene. Suffice to say, I highly recommend Earth - just be warned, there is little light about it and it is a profound viewing experience.

An interview with Deepa Mehta here.

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Yeah, Earth is a great movie. I found the Canadian movie Partition that was recently released also interesting.

I can't say for the others groups, I know that having your own homeland is a strong sentiment in the Punjabi Sikh community. That is not to say that they actively want it now, but it is something that is looked at as a high point in our political history (Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh).

Who a community begins to feel they are not being fairly treated, or, treated how they think they should be, calls for Self-Rule are sure to come.
Oh have been reading "India after Gandhi" and it talks more about the horrors each side shamelessly indulged in.
Sadly all the glory we achieved in "Non-violent struggle" was lost in these riots, imho.
I think Metha trilogy is seriously over-rated.
It's too glorified.
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