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Film: Earth

Courtesy of Mehta-Hamilton Productions.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Join us for a screening of Deepa Mehta’s Earth (1998; 110 min.), which is part of her acclaimed Elemental trilogy.

In this film, a young girl with polio, Lenny, narrates the story through the voice of her adult self. She is from a wealthy Parsi family who hopes to remain neutral to the rising tensions between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims in her neighborhood. She is adored and protected by her parents and is cared for by Shanta, her Ayah (maid). Shanta is part of a larger group of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh friends who spend their days together in the park. With partition, however, this once- unified group of friends becomes divided and tragedy ensues.

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta will offer introductory remarks and will participate in a conversation after the film with Jinah Kim, the Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture; Durba Mitra, the Carol K. Pforzheimer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute and assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality; and David Hamilton, the producer of Deepa Mehta’s films.

Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work is celebrated on an international scale. Her emotionally resonating, award-winning films have played every major film festival, and many remain audience favorites. She is best known for her Elemental trilogy: Earth, Fire, and Water. Other films include Bollywood/Hollywood, Heaven on Earth, and the epic adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize–winning novel, Midnight’s Children.

This screening is offered in conjunction with the installation Women in South Asian Art, on view in the University Teaching Gallery at the Harvard Art Museums through January 7, 2018. This installation complements Jinah Kim’s undergraduate course in Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture. The course explores images of women in South Asian art, taking a historical perspective in order to understand the politics of gender and the social status of women in today’s South Asia.

The screening will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway.

Free admission

The other installments in the Elemental trilogy, Water and Fire, were screened at the Harvard Art Museums on September 8 and 29, respectively.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.