2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Deepa Mehta's Elements Trilogy: Transnational Visions of Women's India(s)
Trevor A. Grizzell
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta has produced a number of acclaimed films throughout her career, the most popular being her controversial elements trilogy consisting of Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005). In these works, Mehta examines the lives of women at various points in Indian history, illuminating the ways in which their experiences of gender in India shaped their lives. Unlike other postcolonial or transnational filmmakers that frequently focus on little else but nation, Mehta uses colonial and postcolonial relationships between the West and India as a backdrop to highlight the specificities of her characters experiences. In this paper, I hope to show that Mehtas utilization of feminist filmmaking practices and an intricate examination of the intersections of religion, gender, and sexuality distinguishes her from other postcolonial filmmakers and allows her to show the ways in which women in India have found spaces for agency, even in the harshest of conditions.

Keywords: Deepa Mehta, film studies, transnational feminism, postcolonialism, cultural studies

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 15-1
Location: VH 1408
Time: 9:30

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