Loading
September 15, 2006
Water
By Hilary Rowe *

By Hilary Rowe *

Recently released on DVD, this profound film was produced in India by writer/director Deepa Mehta.  Water tells the story of Chuyia, an eight-year-old girl who is widowed.  Against her will, she goes to live in a home with other widows, who, according to Hindu tradition, are to live their remaining days in prayer and penance.  Amidst this landscape of shocking injustice emerges Gandhi, a hero who brings hope for those oppressed by social customs and by British imperial rule.

Chuyia has no desire to live a life of penance, and her feisty temperament causes quite a stir in the convent-like house.  Some of the women are pious Hindus, and some, inevitably, use religion for their own personal gain.  This hypocrisy seems to justify the actions of one woman, Kalyani, who plans to defy tradition and remarry.

As I know little about Hindu culture, I cannot presume to interpret the religious and social customs present in Water.  Some basic human truths do emerge, however.  For example, Gandhi exhorts his followers to recognize the dignity of every human person, which is no small feat in a society that banishes its lowest classes to the streets.  

This film is visually remarkable, capturing beautiful images in a setting that would be stark and unappealing without the aid of a filmmaker’s careful eye.  Water is an omnipresent image in the film, symbolizing everything from purity and cleansing to transition and death.  The artistry will likely be lost on young audiences, as will the subtleties of the difficult and sometimes disturbing subject matter.  Although its lack of graphic images has earned Water a PG rating, I recommend it to more mature audiences who can appreciate its thoughtful treatment of controversial and vitally important topics.

Hilary Rowe received her B.A. in Film Studies and English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2005.  Since then she has worked in campus ministry for FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.  She currently serves as FOCUS Team Director at the University of Colorado.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: