MovieChat Forums > FireĀ (1996) Discussion > a disappointing and senseless film by a ...

a disappointing and senseless film by a self-hating indian/hindu


check out this link for a detailed critique of Fire


http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_es/s_es_kishw_naive_frameset.htm

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self-hating indian/hindu? ;_; gulp, why must one self-hate?

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what a *beep* loser..

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Being critical of a rigid culture that expects people to needlessly sacrifice any claim to happiness does NOT make one "self-hating." It might make one "culture-hating", but self-hating it is not. Geez, any Jew who's critical of Israel is "self-hating", and any Indian who's critical of Indian culture is "self-hating." The base stupidity of such an argument boggles the mind.

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Well stated above...

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it is quite clear that she isn't hindu for she has a very weird view of hinduism. she has got the Hindu society part figured out but some of her views on hinduism are completely wrong.

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Oh so you think you know what Hinduism stands for? Why don't you cite what it is that you think she got wrong instead of mouthing some general opinion!

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I have to agree in the sense that I think DM's trilogy all play to a certain cynisism. She doesnt seem to make one bit of effort to show the beauty of hinduism, and even that could be forgiven if her movies were intended for indians who would know better. But her movies are intended for foreigners who are going to get a wrong idea of things and then, because they saw the movie, will think they know better.

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I have only seen Water, but I think this cynism isn't about Hinduism in itself-I think its about interpretation and the traditions these interpretations build. Religion is a deeply personal thing-it isn't something that we just pick up; our beliefs are shaped by everything around us. I think Deepa Mehta's cynism wasn't about the darker sides of Hinduism, but rather the traditions that are built around one interpretation and then used to build a society upon. For instance, a given society could be built on a more patriarchal interpretation of Hinduism-that doesn't mean Hinduism is a sexist religion.

About the 'beauty of Hinduism'-well, all religions have their own beauty...again, its all about interpretation. I think just about anyone will say their religion has some aspect of beauty in it. I realize that people unfamiliar with Hinduism might mistakenly think the religion is inherently sexist, but that's just ignorance for you-Mehta isn't filming "Hinduism for Dummies", she's making a point about a tradition and exploitation within a society.

Again, I have only seen Water yet, so I can't really be more specific than that.

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Her films all use Hindu aesthetics and mythology, in beautiful ways (e.g. the scene where Kalyani runs to meet Narayan-as-Krishna in Water...absolutely enchanting, Radha-Krishna fantasy). Though she protests against certain aspects of the culture, it's blatant that she appreciates just as many.

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If someone would ask me: whom would you like to meet of all people in the world: For me it's Deepa Mehta. For once: there are Indian movies where women are not just depicted as supportive, homely, self-sacrificing creatures. Yes, the movies strongly criticizes certain things about India, but underneath there is also an underlying love at the same time.

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Hey master whatever, why dont you go prove DM wrong by making a movie about the beauties of India, Hinduism and whatever it is you so have against her and her movie's content. or write an article and point us to your extremely naive views.

Do us all a favor and stop the naive crap. Im beginning to think people like you should be charged for misuse of internet real estate like you did.

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How can her views on hinduism be wrong? Like, what? The word 'view' in this context means 'opinion.' Her opinion isn't wrong. I was born and raised Hindu and hell, I think most of it is bogus. How can my view, or opinion, be wrong? Seeing as I've experienced it, and most likely so has she and has come to her own conclusions.

Geez.

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I totally agree with the self critic comments hardly equating to self hating.

But rigid, please, there are a lot of other socities that are hypocritical in other ways all over the world. Some social laws need to be enforced to have a meaningful society.

I think the law of averages works against India. Surely having a billion people and few hundred million families means the law of averages tends to bring out the "bad activities" out as much in any society.

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A typical "us vs them" analysis. Look around you in the big picture, muslims are killling hindus and christians, christians are killing muslims and any other religiosos (and atheists) who don't agree with them and on and on. It's a problem with all religion not with just any one religion. There are pockets of tolerance everywhere but, in general, religious fanatics of all stripes are just waiting for a reason to attack some other religion because they are sick with "godism". If humankind is ever able to transcend our foibles, insecurities, fears, ignorance, pomposity and arrogance then and only then do we have a chance to evolve into the sentient, rational beings that we have the potential to become. Until then we are a bunch of immature brats who need to reassure our selves constantly that our "god" is the "true god". Whatta buncha horse pucky! This movie makes a good case for understanding and tolerance of the human condition - which is exactly why it scares the crap out of the weakminded.

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Hello folks,
I'm an Egyptian who just remembered this movie FIRE and thought I'd come to this message board JUST to see if the reaction was similar to an Egyptian movie that depicted homosexuality. And it is so identical, it's funny.

Egyptians everywhere are angry at that (Egyptian) move because they think it makes Egypt look bad. (As if we can try to claim that there are no gays in Egypt). Also, they are upset because this movie depicts the "bad" things about Egypt and not the beauty. (Ahem, movies and stories are mostly about conflict, not about the things that are going well). Also, Egyptians are upset because they want the world to know that the "muslim" culture does not support homosexuality. I would like to know which religion does? The world's hatred of homosexuality may be the biggest thing religions have in common. Is homosexuality part of the Jewish culture? Christian culture?etc. NO! But we all know that every single culture has its gay subculture. In some places, they can meet at bars, and in others they stay in the closet forever. But they're ALWAYS there. And they do NOT get any support from ANY religion, muslim, hindu or any other.

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Good points "yetanotherplace"! Just one of many examples of the foibles, insecurities, fears, ignorance, pomposity and arrogance exhibited and promoted by religion in general that keeps humankind from achieving what we are positively capable of. ALL religions repress homosexuality out of fear and insecurity.......maybe someday we will figure out that there are bigger pressing problems to contend with rather than worrying about who loves who! When will we stop believing that there are imans, priests, holy men, mullahs, ministers and other wackos, etc, who supposedly "talk" to god and then tell us the crap they want us to believe? In their personal quest to repress themselves they wind up repressing everybody. Of course, we are stupid to believe them in the first place! If a simple movie like "Fire" drives them to such fury one must ask - what do they have to hide? The answer is simple - they fear the loss of their power!

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i'm sorry for not agreeing with you but just because people of a religion don't support homosexuality does not mean they are afraid of it or angered by it or even intolorent of it. A person does have the option of tolerating something they find sinful while not accepting it as good. They can have homosexual friends and love them as is right without accepting their sexual orientation as good. Yes, some people are tempted in the area of lust for their own sex, but the sin is not in the temptation, it is in the action.

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>>"i'm sorry for not agreeing with you but just because people of a religion don't support homosexuality does not mean they are afraid of it or angered by it or even intolorent of it."

How convoluted is your logic! So if there was a religion that thought being blue-eyed was a sin - or, to use your crazy sin vs. tempation analogy, if this religion taught that *using* blue eyes to see the world is a sin (you have a choice! close your eyes! plenty of blind people do just fine!), then you wouldn't conclude that this religion was intolerant of blue eyes? Please! And before you tell me blue eyes are 'natural' and homosexuality isn't, please consider all the homosexual bulls, monkeys and sheep.

Intolerant is exactly what most religions are of certain expressions of normal human sexuality. There's no excuse for it.

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Well noted, yetanotherplace.

"From beneath you, it devours.
It eats you, starting from the bottom."

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Umm, I don't think Buddhism forbids homosexuality, actually. Having been force-fed the Buddhist scriptures for since the age of six, it simply views all forms of carnal desires and lust as a distraction from the higher ideals of life. Kind of with a condescending pity, whatever sex it is you desire. Not that it ever stopped people from marking it as taboo, but more as a social abberration than a sin.
I suppose the Ancient Greeks are the only people who have ever treated the matter sensibly.
I suppose, in a world where procreation was important and didn't have six billion people in it, they originally thought they shouldn't encourage a condition that doesn't result in procreation.
Wish people could get past it, now, though. It's just a matter of prefernce. I don't see how it's different from liking cats and not liking cats. I mean, I'm at perfect liberty not to like cats, but that doesn't entitle me to think less of people who do, does it?

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do you have sex with cats?

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According to wikipedia, Buddhists aren't allowed to be homosexual.

It's accepted for non-Buddhists. Or so says the Dalai Lama.

The Ancient Romans did ok too. I like their whole send-gay-lovers-into-war-to-impress-eachother strategy. But the Greeks were better.

I don't think any culture has been properly sensible about it ever, though.

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hey btw, dont take bs-o-pedia too seriously. It is a site with content contributed by normal people i.e. people like you or me. It is a site built on trust. Honestly you shouldnt trust a lot of what you see on the internet. Im beginning to doubt some of the stuff they put on doctor's sites too.

In fact I can go and start a contribution to any wikipedia page and quite cynically add nonsense to it. CHeck it up on google news archives, some dude actually did it on wikipedia. So be careful of what you quite from wikipedia... do it at the risk of sounding naive (and/or silly).

take it easy.

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To some extent Deepa Mehta is a self hater. My parents didn't really like the film, not because of the homosexuality, but because of the fact it portrays typical Indian family life to be extremely dysfunctional. The movie was more or less targetted for a Western Audeince, and the only people who will take it as a realistic story are people who are basically ignorant when it comes to Indian family life.

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This movie was great and really well made,

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While the title of the original post might be seen as the words of someone who just do not like to see her people portrayed in a bad way, the link provided actually made some good points as to what some indians hate this movie.

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Quotes:

"India, despite more than two centuries of western influence and indoctrination, has still not become homophobic"


"But to the best of my knowledge, there have been only stray public attacks on gays after they have begun openly organizing themselves around their sexual identity"

O I see! Closeted homosexuals are JUST FINE.

I cannot take this reviewer seriously. He/she is a damned fool.

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"India, despite more than two centuries of western influence and indoctrination, has still not become homophobic"

Yeah, the little indian boy I work with told me if his sister was a lesbian he and everyone in his family would beat her.

but I would say from my experience many Indian people, even those who have spent a lot of tme in the US are ignorant abot homosexuality. when someone mentions it, the sister of the boy i work with, who is 21 years old,still says, "it's not possible."

lastly, a person can say that there are things wrong with their culture/religion etc. and not be self-hating, and they can certainly still be avid, followers of their group.

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have to partially agree with you. i wouldn't say self-hating, but i would say overly critical, and definitely irreverent to the point of being disrespectful. every religion has its negative points, deepa just harps on about them, completely ignoring the good. disclaimer: i'm a 9th generation catholic.

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I know a woman from Bangladesh who did not know what gay meant until she came to the U.S. I remember her having a conversation with this one girl I knew and she asked her what does gay mean. The girl told her and she was shocked because she did not know of the existence of gays. How could someone be almost 30, fairly educated and not know of this fact?

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