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Film screening: Water

Friday, January 25, 2019
7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, University at Albany Downtown Campus.

Free and open to the public.

Water movie poster

The Oscar-nominated film WATER (Canada/India, 2005, 117 minutes, color, directed by Deepa Mehta, in Hindi with English subtitles) will be shown 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 25, 2019, in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue on the University at Albany Downtown Campus.

Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of its Classic Film Series, the screening is free and open to the public.

Set in 1938 rural India under British colonial rule, the film begins when eight-year-old child bride Chuyia is widowed and sent to live in a temple in the holy city of Varanasi.

WATER explores the difficulties of women’s rights and social change in Indian culture. It tells the story of the lives of women and girls who are banished by Hindu law to an institution, or ashram, to live in poverty and renunciation following the deaths of their husbands.

WATER is the third film in a trilogy by director Deepa Mehta about the challenges facing women in India. The first film, FIRE (1996) explored lesbianism among traditional Indian women, and EARTH (1998) portrayed the political and religious violence surrounding the partition of India and Pakistan. The making of WATER in India was met with violent protests by Hindu fundamentalists. Filming was forced to stop and most of the film was shot years later in Sri Lanka.

WATER received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It won Best Film at the Bangkok International Film Festival, the Freedom of Expression award from the US National Board for Review, and the Humanitarian Award from the New York Film Critics.