Aamir Khan, Rahul Khanna, Arif Zakaria, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Gulshan Grover, Eric Peterson, Pavan Malhotra, Nandita Das, Maia Sethna, Kitu - Gidwani- In English
Director: Deepa Metha
Producer: Deepa Metha
Music Director: A.R. Rahman
Release By : New Your Video
Deepa Mehta's epic tale of the hateful religious and civil wars that took place in India and Pakistan in the 1947 battle to gain independence from the British, EARTH is the second movie in a trilogy from the director, preceded by FIRE (1996) and followed by WATER (due in 2001). The story, which is based on an autobiographical novel entitled CRACKING INDIA, by Bapsi Sidhwa, is told through the eyes of a little girl, Lenny (Maia Sethna), who has one leg in a brace. The impediment keeps Lenny from being very active, so she spends her time sitting and talking with her loving nanny, Shanta (Nandita Das), whose beauty attracts a faithful following of about six male friends. Lenny and Shanta sit in the park, fly kites, take long picturesque walks through the ruins outside their village, and all the time Lenny is absorbing the conversations around her. Between Shanta's Muslim and Hindu suitors--one of whom is a Sikh--and Lenny's parent's varied group of Parsee and Catholic friends, the debates about the futures of India and Pakistan, including a litany of stereotypes, fearful opinions, and hateful feelings about all parties involved, become more and more heated. Finally, Lenny watches as the warring begins. A horrific trainload full of the bodies of massacred Muslims arrives in their town. Gangs march through the streets raging with violence. Hindu tenements are burned to the ground. Lenny is terrified, and as she struggles to understand all that is happening--and why--the tragedy only gets worse. EARTH is an intense and moving film that illustrates beautifully the terrifying political and cultural atmosphere of 1947 India.