Shooting Water: A Mother-daughter Journey and the Making of a Film

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9780144001026: Shooting Water: A Mother-daughter Journey and the Making of a Film

Spanning three continents and four countries, Shooting Water is the remarkable story of the making of Water, the Academy Award-Nominated Film by Deepa Mehta. In February 2000, Devyani Saltzman traveled to the holy city of Benares, India, to reunite with her estranged mother, international award-winning filmmaker Deepa Mehta, and to work on her latest film, Water. But after only a week of shooting, the film became the target of a series of politically-motivated attacks. Protestors destroyed the sets, burned effigies of the director, and made threats on her life. Water was shut down. What began as a journey to heal deep wounds from the past turned into a five-year odyssey to complete a film. This edition includes a new Epilogue by the author, chronicling Water’s triumph after its tumultuous birth: first, opening the Toronto International Film Festival; then, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and, finally, coming full circle with the film’s national release in India. Reviews: “More than a document exposing the emergence of deeper feelings between the two women, Shooting Water is a detailed chronicle of the making of one of the most controversial films in Canadian history. In fact, Saltzman marvelously dissects the cultural and political complexities of India...” – The Globe and Mail “A lush, evocative memoir.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A must read...Beautiful and haunting.” - Montreal Gazette “A winner. Shooting Water is a powerful document that examines the nature of rupture, and the capacity of human beings to reach out and rework relationships through love.” - The Sunday Tribune (India) “...A poignant memoir.” - The New York Times “...Saltzman proves herself a deft writer in this deeply evocative memoir.” - Cleveland Plain Dealer “A languid and sensuous exploration of the subcontinent through the eyes of an estranged daughter." - Kirkus Reviews “A gripping memoir. It’s impossible not to be drawn into the surprisingly revealing journey. ” - Inside Entertainment

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About the Author:

Devyani Saltzman received a degree in Human Sciences at Oxford University. She grew up on film and television sets, and was the recipient of the Young Professionals International Internship grant to work on a feature-length documentary in India. She works as a photojournalist and freelance writer, and is based in Toronto, Canada. Deepa Mehta is the acclaimed director of Camilla, Fire, Earth, Bollywood Hollywood, and The Republic of Love. Born in India, she currently resides with her husband, producer David Hamilton, in Canada.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Saltzman's mother, Deepa Mehta, is a filmmaker who attempts to shoot the final installment of her trilogy, Water (after Fire and Earth), in India. In 1999, the author, then 19, accompanies her mother to work as a third assistant cameraperson. A series of politically motivated attacks shut down the film's production. Four years later, shooting restarts in Sri Lanka, with Saltzman onboard as a still photographer. With the film's production as a backdrop, Canadian Saltzman delves into her past. When she was 11, her father, a Jewish Ukrainian, and her mother, a [Hindu] Indian, divorced. Saltzman was forced to choose with whom she would live. Picking her father, she created a rift with her mother that would take more than a decade to repair: "most of our relationship had to be reconstructed through fragmented pieces of memory, like shards of glass, some reflecting light, others opening deep wounds." Saltzman longs for stability, which she discovers in the world of film. "Film was my second language, even before Hindi.... It was the common culture both my parents had raised me in, beyond being Jewish or Indian." Saltzman never loses any of the threads she delicately weaves together, creating a lush, evocative memoir that is emotional but never cloying. (Apr.)
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