Canada nominates Water for Oscar


Canada has set a record for foreign Oscar submissions by nominating a Hindi-language film, the Deepa Mehta-directed Water. It could do so only because, three months ago, Oscar rules were changed to allow a country to nominate a film that isn’t in its indigenous language as long as English is not the dominant language in the film.

The Oscar nomination has, for several years, been the subject of bitter controversies over the language issue.

Water exposes the sexual and other kinds of oppression in a widow’s ashram in the 1930s where the most beautiful of the widows (Lisa Ray) has to prostitute herself to support fellow widows. John Abraham plays a Gandhian idealist and Seema Biswas, the silently rebellious older widow.

“It has been going to many festivals,” Deepa Mehta said of the film, which went to become the most successful Hindi film in North America, grossing $5.4 million. “And if it gets an Oscar nomination, it will be a very big boost for a small film.”