Skip to main content


Canada, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Deepa Mehta

Courageous and unflinching, Deepa Mehta's engrossing study of a lesbian affair inter­weaves sexual repression, pressure-cooker desire, crumbling patriarchy and cultural transfor­mation in contemporary India. The tugging away of traditional structures reflects social changes and the tension of modernism occurring across the sub-continent.

Radha, the driving force behind husband Ashok's New Delhi restaurant, cohabits peace­ably, if at times uneasily, with her in-laws upstairs. Their barren, 15 year old marriage is rent asunder by the arrival of sister-in-law Sita. a confident modern young wife who poses ques­tions Radha would rather not face. Their hus­bands' complacency and neglect draws the women into a tender relationship which deto­nates into tragedy.

Though unapologetically feminist in its core sympathies, there is much more to Fire than polemical critique. Giles Nuttgens' camera mean­ders through gorgeous precincts of old Delhi; tra­ditional ceremonies and architecture (Hindi wedding processions, Ramanaya folk dramas, the Taj Mahal) are used to tremendous effect; and Fire's incendiary conclusion will not soon be forgotten by Festival audiences.

See also...


The second part of a trilogy (preceded by MIFF 1997 smash, Fire) whose theme is the elements, Deepa Mehta's Earth examines the subject of India's partition as a means to deal with land literally and ... More »


1952, and Bilodeau (Marcel Sabourni), a Catholic Bishop arrives at a Quebec jail to hear a prisoner's confession. But when he meets the prisoner, Simon (Aubert Pallascio), a man he knew 40 years ago ... More »


Hard Core Logo is the top draw Canadian punk rock band, that is, if it was a real group. Director Bruce McDonald is only too familiar with mixing truth and outrageous fiction in order to craft his ... More »


Molly Parker gives an enigmatic perfor­mance as Sandra Larson, the central char­acter in this compelling tale of perverse eroticism set in an anonymous Canadian town. The fiim charts the ... More »


Steve Buscemi has made an indelible mark on the world of independent film as an actor, bringing to life such unforgettable characters as 'Mr Pink' in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and the ... More »


A moving and frequently hilarious adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning Broadway play, Love! Valour! Compassion! traces the interwoven lives of eight gay men over a summer in upstate ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director