608 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4, Canada
Co-presented with Reel Asian Film Festival and co-sponsored by Inside Out & Pleasure Dome,
Sanghum Film Series presents: FIRE
Written and directed by Deepa Mehta, FIRE was released in India two years after its premiere at TIFF in 1998. The first film in mainstream Bollywood to explicitly show a lesbian love relationship, it triggered massive protests and violent riots by far-right Hindu nationalists who claimed the film was, “immoral and pornographic” and feared it would “spoil Indian women.”
Defending her film, Deepa Mehta declared, “FIRE is a film about loneliness. It is a film about the hypocrisy of our society today. It is a film about how women don't have choices in a patriarchal set-up."
Shabana Azmi, one of India’s most versatile actresses and a young Nandita Das in her first feature role, play Radha and Sita, two sister-in-laws who fall in love while living together in a joint household. Mehta provides a provocative alternative to the traditional Hindu understanding of the Radha-Sita narrative, unravelling the ingrained patriarchy that has perpetuated unrealistic portrayals of female duty and desire.
Fire is a story of love and about the freedom to choose, come join us for the second feature in our six part series focusing on portrayals of women in Hindi Cinema!