CATEGORIES Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Casting, DIY/Filmmaking, Oscar Watch, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, Oscar News, CinematicalThere are only a few days left until we find out if Deepa Mehta's latest film and cinematic achievement, Water, will be able to upset Pan's Labyrinth* at the Academy Awards. As you may remember me sharing earlier this month, the director went through all sorts of hell to finish the feature, falling prey to terrible threats of violence and huge wrenches in production. However, with the fate of Water not yet sealed, she is already gearing up for her next film -- Exclusion. Now that the script has been finalized and is preparing to film at the end of the year, she's spoken to Reuters about it.
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.