Deepa Mehta and Preity Zinta on “Videsh”
Director Deepa Mehta’s Videsh exploresthe tale of Chand, a young Punjabi girl married to an Indian immigrant in Canada. The film, released this past week, brings on a bride’s personal battles – of domestic abuse and trauma. Mehta, lead actress Preity Zinta, debutant actor Vansh Bhardwaj and producer Ravi Chopra talked about the experiences around Videsh at an event in the Capital recently. The movie was earlier released in Canada under the name Heaven On Earth to rave reviews.
Isn’t Heaven on Earth an ironical title for a film that revolves around domestic abuse? “The title is meant to be ironic. Lots of people who emigrate think they will better themselves and believe life is going to be like heaven there. And we forget the first casualty of a working class emigrant is dignity,” said Mehta.
Mehta has drawn from the lives of about five women she had met. It is mainly inspired from the life of Mona Gill, now part of the Canadian Police Force. Gill had come to Canada following an arranged marriage. On the power of cinema to influence the mindset of people, Preity replied, “There is gross escapism in our cinema. But Videsh has a slice of real life. It is cinema which opens you to a perspective that often remains alien.”
On the message of Videsh, Mehta said “If we respect and don’t abuse our daughters, heaven on earth can be created here.”MOHAMMAD ARSHAD ISLAM