HILARY Magazine: The patriarchal society is criticized in Water, Earth and Fire, what made you want to bring to light the fallacies and harsh realities of this type of society despite the fact that in most parts of the world, and arguably all parts of the world, the patriarchal society is still considered to be the norm? Deepa Mehta: I believe in equality of the genders. Top heavy patriarchy (for that matter even matriarchy) leads to an uneven playing-field. HILARY Magazine: The struggle of women and their treatment due to religious doctrines is clear in Water, while this film is set in the 1930's the reality is that women all over the world are still treated inhumanely because of literal and politically favorable interpretations of religious doctrines. Similarly the issues in Earth, of religious differences, exist today, is there a reason why you didn't choose to place these films in present time? Deepa Mehta: Earth is about a very particular time in Indian History, the division of India into Pakistan and India. Its Historical context is imperative to the plot of the film. Water too is set in a period when child marriages were not so uncommon. Also, the rise of nationalism via Gandhi was important [because] Gandhi felt strongly that India's social fabric had to change. HILARY Magazine: The issues in Water and the preceding films transcend all nationalities, although clearly part of their success is that they take viewers into the Indian culture; do you think in the future you will tackle similar issues within other cultures, perhaps in a Canadian setting? Deepa Mehta: They say, that the more specific a film is, the more universal it becomes. I am happy that Water has appealed to as many people as it has. HILARY Magazine: Are you currently working on any upcoming films, and if so can you tell us a little bit about them? Deepa Mehta: Toying with a few ideas. Let's see which of them rises to the surface!
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