A tumultuous period in Asian history is brilliantly brought to the screen in a poignant, funny and charming drama based on the acclaimed novel 'Cracking India' by Bapsi Sidhwa. Set against the background of the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, the growing political and religious unrest that saw the lives of every Hindu, Muslim and Sikh torn apart is seen through the eyes of Lenny (Maia Sethna), an eight-year-old Parsee girl growing up in Lahore. Her life consists of being taught how to waltz by her mother, learning how to become an Anglophile and daily exciting outings with her beloved Hindu nanny. But her perfect world is shattered with the division of India and, in the blood-bath and sectarian strife that follows, nothing can ever be the same again. A darkly fascinating and magical look at epic social upheaval and a remarkably affecting human tale that shines through it all.
The ripples from these events continue to spread
- Earth review by TE
Don't be fooled by the blurb here, which describes 'Earth' as "poignant, funny and charming". Whoever wrote that probably only watched the first ten minutes.
Deepa Mehta paces the narrative carefully and the initial happy notes are gradually drowned out by the terrible mob violence that marked the Partition of India in 1947. Britain's ham-fisted attempts to draw straight lines on the map in creating the state of Pakistan led to vicious battles between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. In 'Earth', Mehta shows how a Parsi family try to maintain neutrality, but are nonetheless swept up in the communal blood-letting.
This is the middle film of Mehta's trilogy using the elements as titles. It is less nuanced than 'Fire' and 'Water', largely because of the wide scale of its political setting and ambition. It is a powerful lament for the destruction of a previously harmonious community.
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