Deepa Mehta

"A Citzen Filmmaker of the World"

An Outline of a Life

  • Born in Amritsar, India in 1949
  • Attended the University of Delhi. She received a degree in philosophy.
  • Her father was a theater owner.
  • Her start in film began with documentaries.
  • Moved to Toronto at 23 and later became a Canadian citizen.
  • Now? An awarded director that is the center of much controversy.

"...There is room for redemption and hope, however grim things are; that the human spirit does have that ability to do something that is selfless, even under the most horrendous circumstances."

The Elements Trilogy

  • Fire, (1996)

- explores sexuality

  • Earth, (1998)
- explores nationalism

- 2000 Academy Award for Best Foreign film nominee

  • Water, (2005)
- explores religion

- nominated for 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

“I couldn't make Water until I stopped being angry. Why are we so scared of showing the truth? Why can't we question aspects of our tradition that aren't so great?”

NL Interviews Deepa Mehta


Aarabi, P. (2014). Interview with Filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from

DAVIDESCU, R. A. (2009, April 10). Culture, Sexuality and Politics in Deepa Mehta's Fire. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from

Levin, A. (2012). Deepa Mehta's “ Water” and Homegrown Indian Feminism by Amy Levin. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from water-and-homegrown-indian-feminism-by-amy-levin/

NL Interviews Deepa Mehta. (2013, January 7). Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

Phillips, R. (2006, May 15). Deepa Mehta speaks with WSWS: The conflict between the desire for freedom and backward religious traditions. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

Wijegunasingha, P. (2000, May 2). Fire: A film which bears witness to Deepa Mehta's courage as an artist. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from