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FIRE

Director: DEEPA MEHTA

CANADA-INDIA • 1996 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • ULTRA STEREO • 104 MIN


The first instalment in the ‘elemental’ trilogy (common theme: the blind adherence to outmoded tradition in India), Fire provides a powerful critique of a patriarchal, post-colonial society that attempts to keep women down.
Sharing a house in modern-day New Delhi, the wives of two brothers are confined to the traditional Indian female role of silently cooking, cleaning and producing children. Gradually the two women, Radha (Shabana Azmi) and Sita (Nandita Das), find in each other what their husbands refuse to give. They enter into a lesbian relationship and Mehta’s delicate, tender depiction of their affair delineates the crises arising from the straitjacket of proscribed sexual identities.

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