Sawnet - Cinema -
Mira Nair was born in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa in 1957. She went on to attend the University of New Delhi where she studied Sociology and Theater. Dissatisfied with the quality of the education, she applied elsewhere. As result she came to Harvard in 1976 on full scholarship to continue studying Sociology. While at Harvard her focus drifted to documentary film. She describes documentary as "a marriage of my interests in the visual arts, theatre, and life as it is lived" (CurBio 424).
She made several documentaries that were critically acclaimed, most notably Salaam Bombay. Her first feature film was Mississippi Masala.
- Vanity Fair
Based on William Thackeray classic novel, Vanity Fair is a period tale set in post-colonial England. Filmed entirely on location in the UK and India. Reese Witherspoon stars as Becky Sharp, a woman who defies her poverty-stricken background to clamber up the social ladder; also stars Jim Broadbent, Bob Hoskins, Eileen Atkins, Gabriel Byrne, and Rhys Ifans.
- Sawnet Review by Pooja Makhijani, Sangeeta Ray, Ashini Desai
- Monsoon Wedding
An arranged marriage in India brings together far-flung relatives, tradition, modernity, irreverence, innocence and sexuality
in a Punjabi family in contemporary Delhi.
- Sawnet Review by Shauna Singh Baldwin, Mona Oommen, Champa Bilwakesh, Sivagami Subbaraman, Bisakha Sen, Shipra Mandal, Elizabeth Abraham, Radhika Iyengar, Mala Nagarajan
- Monsoon Wedding website
- The Laughing Club of India
Looks at the phenomenon of Bombay's popular laughing clubs, which bring people together to promote healing and well-being. Bombay residents, mostly middle class, meet early in the morning with their instructor to perform a series of laughing exercises. The techniques are taught in the school as well. Uninhibited laughter seems to cure bodily disease and to provide relief from the oppressions of everyday life and tragic personal histories.
- Kama Sutra
Inspired by Wajeda Tabassum's short story Utaran (Hand-Me-Downs), Kama Sutra is the story of a princess and a maid and a king and a sculptor, who share each other's beds in various combinations. Exotic and erotic.
- Sawnet Review by Anonymous, Farah Nousheen, Susan Chacko, Jayshree Aiyar, Sonya Pelia, Bisakha Sen
- Amy Laly in
the Seattle Examiner.
Maslin in the New York Times.
Peary in Phoenix.
Rhodes in rec.arts.movies.reviews.
Hartl in the Seattle Examiner
Renshaw in rec.arts.movies.reviews
Girls on Film
- Utaran and Kama Sutra, by Abha Varma at kahany.com.
- The Perez Family
An unlikely group of Cuban refugees becomes a "family" to improve their chances of being admitted into the US.
- Mississippi Masala
Sarita Choudhury is part of a family who left Uganda during Idi Amin's purge,
and now live in Mississippi. She falls in love with Denzel Washington, who
is African-American, and their liason awakens all the subtle and explicit
racial feelings between the two groups.
(1991, 130 mins)
- Sawnet Review by Veena Gondhalekar, Sonia Desai
Sarita sexy? -- Seetha Ramachandran in Asian Voices.
by Linda Lopez McAlister
scratches the surface of racial conflict. Review by Danny Su at
the MIT Tech.
- Salaam Bombay
The story of a 10-year-old boy on the streets of Bombay, living among the pimps, pushers and drug addicts, trying to avoid the police while helping a young girl who has been sold into prostitution.
- Children of a Desired Sex
A documentary about amniocentesis and gender selection of children.
- India Cabaret
Focuses on a group of strippers who work in a Bombay nightclub.
(1985, 60 mins)
- So Far From India
Ashok Sheth is an Indian immigrant who has come to New York to seek a better life for his family. Once here, he postpones sending for them. Money is scarce and he is growing away from the traditional life he left behind. Meanwhile, his despairing wife has lost face, dependent as she is on her in-laws for sustenance. The tension mounts when Ashok journeys to India to confront the situation.
- Sawnet Review by Susan Chacko
- Jama Masjid Street Journal
Sawnet film reviews
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