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

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
18

Liturgical Calendar

December 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: