DVD - 2006 | Hindi
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In 1938 colonial India, 8-year-old Chuyia is widowed and sent to a home where Hindu widows must live out there lives in penitence; there her feisty presence affects the lives of the other residents, including a beautiful young widow who falls in love with a Gandhian idealist.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Mongrel Media, [2006]
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama / Water 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (115 min.) :,sd., col. ;,12 cm., in container


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 12, 2018

A beautiful, sad film about the appalling treatment of widows in India under traditional Hindu law. Set in 1937, the plot takes place in an ashram where widows are sent to live out their lives. Some widows are old, some are young, one in particular—Chulyia—is a child of about eight. One also sees the brutal realities of the cast system as they clash against newer ideas. The reforms of Ghandi are briefly touched upon. A brave, unforgettable picture that was almost never made.

Dec 17, 2016

This movie is either really great or really dull, depending on the viewer's perspective. If you want to be entertained, you're better-advised to see DIL CHAHTA HAI or DDLJ or JAB WE MET or JAANE TU ... YA JAANE NA. Those are all great films, and hugely entertaining,

WATER, on the other hand, is a social-problem film, and feels more like the films of Ingmar Bergman than what we typically expect from Mumbai or Hollywood. In my opinion FIRE attempted to do the same but didn't succeed nearly as well, and EARTH is more accessible precisely because it isn't so European in feel [plus it had that great performance by Aamir Khan].

WATER succeeds quietly and slowly, on its own terms -- when it comes back to you later, like a latter-day Satyajit Ray. Recommended for thoughtful viewing.

personal rating: 9/10

Dec 10, 2016

This is a 2005 Indo-Canadian historical drama written and directed by Deepa Mehta.
It is set in 1938 and explores the lives of widows at an ashram in Varanasi, India.
This is the third and final instalment of Mehta's Elements trilogy, preceded by Fire (1996) and Earth (1998).
This movie is a dark and amazing introspect into the tales of rural Indian widows in the 1940s and covers controversial subjects such as misogyny and ostracism.
You believe it or not, there are over 34 million widows in India according to the 2001 Census.
As depicted in the film, many still continue to live in conditions of social, economic and cultural deprivation as prescribed 2000 years ago by the Sacred Texts of Manu.

Franln Dec 05, 2016

What a tragic story and a beautifully done film. Really eye opening and heartbreaking how women and girls are mistreated in India.

Sep 02, 2015

Water is the third film in director Deepa Mehta’s trilogy series dealing with social problems of India in the 20th and 21st centuries. For the last 100+years, India has given young girls for marriage to grown men. If the husband dies before the wife, the wife is then declared a widow and is sent off to a group widows home for life. Incredibly, the main reason for this, while cloaked in religion, is that it saves the family money (not having to take care of the penniless widow). While the film was being made, its production was stopped by right-wing Hindus who did not want this strange custom of India to be exposed to the world. The film won an Oscar nomination for best foreign film and was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the top five foreign films of the year.

I cannot believe the close mindedness of some people who reviewed this film. I've seen it at least twice - probably twice as I recalled it while I was watching it with my friend - we were a bit tired and she was really listening to the film rather than watching it.

It's a terrible indictment of the practices around widows (apparently upheld by Hindu scriptures). It's a hard story to watch and my friend wasn't quite as taken by aspects of the story but I think I had a better understanding of the film and the intentions of the film maker.

Even if you don't "enjoy" it as entertainment, try to be open minded and allow the film to speak to you.

Jun 29, 2014

Rated 2/10.

Apr 24, 2014

A good movie but not a typical Bollywood movie, very serious and sad, no singing in this one. If you don’t know much about India this is very interesting.

AndreVie7 Mar 01, 2014

This film about widows in India who cannot marry again on account of the religious strictures of a 2,000 year-old text is full of pathos and a deep thoughtfulness. The struggles of the young girl, the two women in leading rules, and the man in love with one of these women are tastefully presented.
Accompanied by a beautiful musical score.

quietfire Dec 04, 2013

I was totally taken aback by this movie. All kinds of emotions were twirling - rage, disgust, frustration! I knew about arranged marriages in India, but I did not know that those arrangements included 8 year olds. To think that any parent would be a co-conspirator in this flesh exchange is mind-boggling. Females - as young as 8 years of age - being subjected to a lifetime of solitude and isolation when/if they become widows? Shaved heads? A "sin-free" diet? It was almost unbelievable. My brain just wouldn't allow me to grasp how a set of grown women could allow themselves to wither up and fade into the abyss. Extremely gullible. Extremely passive. Extreme brainwashing. I kept saying, "Leave." "Go live." "Run, don't look back."

The movie got off to a really slow start BUT the plot does thicken. Be patient. The lyrics were beautifully sung. There were parts of it that seemed to be contradictions BUT this is one DVD that I would never watch a second time. It is truly depressing. I can't bear to witness man's inhumanity against man. Kudos to the director, Deepa Mehta for shedding light on such an emotionally taxing issue.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Apr 15, 2018

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Apr 25, 2015

JenniferHutten thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 11, 2011

daniel_r thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Jul 18, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices

Jul 18, 2010

Sexual Content: Nothing is shown, but a lot is implied.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top