The rich amber hues of this film slowly reveal the burgeoning relationship between two mistreated sister-in-laws in modern India. The young and rebellious Sita is trapped in an arranged marriage with a sometimes abusive husband who is having an affair. Her barren sister-in-law is punished by a husband converted to celibacy since “they can’t have children anyway.” The two women begin a covert affair, and fall in love. Surprisingly, despite indications to the contrary, the film has an uplifting ending. This film by Deepa Meeta is the first in a series based on the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. (Earth has also been made into a film.) [canada, 1996]

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