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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


As noted upstream, the usual round of weddings, graduations,
assemblies, nonviolence rallies,,
and Class Daze have curtailed time available for culture vultures
here on Buzzards Bay. However, I still DO intend to interest
you in the remarkable film by Deepa Mehta, WATER,
now widely available on DVD.

It is a marvelous and evocative film describing the plight of widows
in Gandhi's window in the late 1930's. The story line revolves around
the situation of a child widow (9 y.o.) who is forced into a
sort of commune for these females cast out of the society,
culture, and the economy. Her simple story of struggle and courage
is set against the backdrop of Gandhi's revolution against British

The sets, lighting, scenery, cinematography, and especially the casting and
direction are of the order of magnitude one came to expect from the classic
Indian films of Satyajit Ray (the Apu Trilogy) and many others.

Produced in 2005 after innumerable legal battles,
death threats, and even riots, the film is a stunning
commentary on the treatment of the poor, not unlike the situation
of the Dalit poor in South Asia today. [Cf., the thorough
article in Wikipedia: <>].

Americans dare not treat this subject matter lightly (although "Water"'s
CG-13 rating means that it can be shown widely to most age groups pre-teens up).
The truth is that our society, though outwardly affluent and drowning in its own
consumerism, has its many Dalits (male and female), forgotten and outcast.

The solution--in the eyes of many Americans--is to lock Them away in prisons,
filter them out at the Borders, and build a physical wall to contain our wealth and
property. The film "Water" is an occasion for us to consider where such
thinking will take us.

More on the film can be found at:




Yr. Obdt. Svt.,

dave buehler

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