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Shooting Water

Shooting Water is a visual memoir of the making of a film and the making of a relationship.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 18:51 IST

Shooting Water: A Mother-Daughter Journey and the Making of a Film
by Devyani Saltzman
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Price: Rs 295.00
Pages: 256
ISBN: 0-14-400102-0

Spanning three continents and four countries, Shooting Water is a remarkable story of love and redemption

In February 2000, Devyani Saltzman, daughter of international award-winning film-maker Deepa Mehta, travelled to Benares to work with her mother on Water, the final film of the Elements Trilogy after Fire and Earth. Since her parents’ divorce when she was eleven years old, Devyani had spent her life navigating between two religions, two traditions, two cultures, and two people belonging to both and to neither at once. Water would be mother and daughter’s second chance.

But after only a week of shooting, the film about the oppression of Hindu widows became the target of a series of politically motivated attacks by Hindu fundamentalists. Protestors destroyed the sets, burned effigies of Deepa, and made threats on her life. Water was shut down. What began as a journey to heal deep wounds from the past turned into a five-year odyssey to complete a film. (As it turned out, the odyssey would end with Salman Rushdie proclaiming Water a ‘magnificent film’.)

Transformative and inspiring, Devyani’s remarkable story chronicles her life-changing experience in India, the struggle to produce a film, and, through that struggle, the emergence of a deeper love between mother and daughter.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 18:51 IST