Like her previous features, this movie will also explore heavy topics -- specifically a true incident about a ship full of Indian passengers hoping to immigrate to Canada in 1914. When they got to their destination, they were turned around by Canadian authorities because of exclusion laws meant to keep Asian immigrants away. The ship was then forced to go to Hong Kong and Kolkata, where some passengers were killed by British colonial police during a protest.
As with her other projects, Mehta was drawn to the story because of their fight for dignity: "Most of my films are about human dignity, be it Fire or Water. Exclusion also tells about a 58-year-old Sikh revolutionary with a very strong sense of dignity." This role has already been cast, as Mehta has picked Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan for the part. According to the director, he was chosen for his ability to "show power without screaming" -- because, as she explains, a threat to dignity is not a screaming anger. Coming from a woman who believes in the old adage that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, the role seems a bit like a reflection of herself.
*Thanks to Elizabeth for noting the error.