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35mm, 70mm, nitrate, state-of-the-art digital. Q&As, retrospectives, double-features, triple-features, marathons. We’re a year-round film festival. There’s something for everyone in our programming lineup.
The American Cinematheque is a member-donor-volunteer supported 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization whose mission is to celebrate the experience of cinema.
37 years of American Cinematheque film programming….and counting. Dive into the AC Vault to discover past Q&As and clips from our vast and newly digitized archives, old calendars and programs, new podcasts, conversations and much more.
Since it began screening films to the public in 1985, the American Cinematheque has provided diverse film programming and immersive in-person discussions and events with thousands of filmmakers and luminaries, presenting new and repertory cinema to Los Angeles.
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Aero Theatre | Q&A with filmmaker Deepa Mehta following FIRE, moderated by Dr. Priya Jaikumar, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Home / Now Showing / FIRE / EARTH / WATER
FIRE, 1996, Hamilton Mehta Productions, 104 min. Dir. Deepa Mehta
The first installment of Deepa Mehta’s Elemental Trilogy, FIRE is a sensitive look at two people stuck in an oppressive patriarchal society. The film follows two sisters-in-law who fall in love after leaving behind their traditional marriages, a story that ignited a blaze of controversy in India for its groundbreaking representation of a lesbian relationship. In Hindi with English subtitles.
EARTH, 1998, Hamilton Mehta Productions, 110 min. Dir. Deepa Mehta
The second in a series of three films based on the elements, EARTH is an achievement of epic scope. Set in 1947, as India heaves violently forward toward independence, the film examines the life of Lenny, a young girl with polio who has grown up in a wealthy, nonpartisan family, and who must contend with the deep divisions, both personal and religious, that are beginning to scar her country. In Hindi, Gujarati, Panjabi, and Urdu with English subtitles.
WATER, 2005, Fox Searchlight, 117 min. Dir. Deepa Mehta
Eight-year-old Chuyia (Sarala Kariyawasam) is a child bride in India in 1938 when her husband dies; custom dictates that widows live out their lives in poverty and penitence. Sent to an ashram, her youthful presence galvanizes the other residents, inspiring one to – tragically – test the waters of love again. This poetic final film in director Deepa Mehta’s Elemental Trilogy earned comparisons to the work of Satyajit Ray as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. “Exquisite … Shifting between romantic melodrama and spiritual inquiry, WATER flows with the simplicity of a fairy tale.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times. In Hindi with English subtitles.