“ FIRE ” ----- The Revisions of Traditions. Amber, Cathy, Enga, Grace, Wendy, Tiffany and Æ on. Introduction. Deepa Mehta Fire The controversy How Mehta sees the film Themes in Fire. Born in Amritsar , India in 1949 Major Philosophy in the University of New Delhi Married
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Born in Amritsar, India in 1949
Major Philosophy in the University of New Delhi
4. Her father was a film distributor and theater ownerDeepa Mehta
5. ”By the time I was in university I knew I wanted to have nothing to do with film.”
6. Canadian or Indian?
a. The exotic India
1.1996 Toronto International Film Festival
2.New York Film Festival.
3.Vancouver International Film Festival
4.Chicago International Film Festival
- "For me Fire is about... fighting tradition when oppressed. My favorite dialogue in the film is when Sita tells her sister-in-law Radha that the concept of duty is over-rated."
- "The film is about desire and control and the choices we make in life. And it's about India. That is why I have used the colours of the Indian flag throughout the movie."
“I didn't make the film to do a thesis on lesbianism -- I am not interested in those things.
It 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.”
- Tradition and Revision
Traditional figures in the Family:
Biji— voiceless, but possesses the great power over the family.
Ashok— patriarchal in sexuality and believes through celibacy, he
can be close to god.
Jatin—not able to break through tradition, but makes Sita as a
victim of it.
Radha—traditional wife in the family as well before the arrival of Sita.
Biji—is wizened, mute, helpless, carefully dressed and powered each day.
—carries around the room with a ridiculous little bell in her hand to indicate distress or need.
Ashok—has responsibility to carry on the family, but very patriarchal in sexuality.
Ashok Jatin: Ashok asks Jatin to do his duty as a husband.
Ashok Radha: They never communicate in sex. Ashok celibates and oppresses the sexual desire of Radha. Only took having sex with Radha as her duty.
Jatin—victimized by tradition but also selfishly does the harm to Sita.
: arranged marriage involved no love between he and Sita. Sita was also sacrificed in the relationship.
: considered Sita as only a child-making machine.
--posters on the wall show the personality of Jatin
--place for Sita release herself
-- also a place Sita and Radha communicate their love.
~by Grace Liu
ex: Sita wears Jatin’s pants and dances with pop music.
ex: Sita kisses Radha actively.
ex: Sita’s view toward the queen in the mythology and women’s devotion-- women should find a way out instead of lacking choices
ex: Sita calls Jatin a fool and slaps him on his face.
Play a role well as a WIFE
The Hindu epic: “Ramayana”– a saga
Rama – the avatar (the seventh incarnation of Vishnu)
Sita, wife of Rama, is doubted by Rama of her loyalty and undergoes “agnipariksha” (fire ordeal) to prove her chastity.
The representation of Sita's Trial by Fire (from Ramayana) is being reproduced and emphasized by different means – the folk play, the telecast, and the poster of the restaurant
Fast Ritual of the family: still
emphasizes on “a model of loyal
wife to her husband.”
Mundu’s revision of this legend in his fantasy
Sita and Radha’s revision pf the legend in reality
Contrast to the display of the color
Parallel between the display of the frame
A Transition (blank) from night to day
Radha is also transitional from a passive wife to an active lover
Passionate and warm colours: the quality of fire
The women’s relationship represents modern India itself. Radha is tradition-bound and just waiting to blossom…Sita is modern India, desiring independence over tradition (Beyond Bollywood 162).
Fire is the revision of tradition on the aspects of the awareness of women, the invasion of western culture and divine story.
I. India is a tight community, but Julie’s father remains proud and tough as a foreigner in the solid community. (clip)
II. Julie wants to have American-accented English and she wants to travel to Hong Kong.
Indian middle-class women do not only consume western products but also westernization
A.. Sita dances in male costume
a. Sita dances along the music in the room (clip)
1.. Wearing pants as a way of modern liberating
2.. The combination of masculinity and femininity
b. Sita dances with Radha in the living room (clip)
1. The combination of traditional vamp and married
B. Indian women’s desire to break trough tradition and the
servant’s (Mundu ) incapability of changing (clip)
I. The role of family used to provide responsibility. Fire has given it another function, desire.
II.Fire is different from lesbian movies because the relationship develops from domestic work
III. Sita becomes more independent through the relationship between her and Radha (Clip)
Fire adopts the original divine and make adaptation by finding consolation from each other
Radha, instead of Sita, goes through the
trial of fire
II. Radha is proved innocent to Ashok