Director Deepa Mehta's "'Water' [is] a lush new film that opened on Friday, about Chuyia, an 8-year-old widow in the India of 1938. She has barely met her husband but is banished by her parents to a decrepit widows' house on the edge of the Ganges. Chuyia is left there sobbing, in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the film, but she insists her parents will soon return for her... In January 2000 [director] Deepa Mehta was forced to shut down production of 'Water' in Varanasi, one of India's holy cities on the banks of the Ganges, after Hindu nationalists protested that the film was anti-Hindu. Some 500 demonstrators took to the streets, ransacked the set and burned Ms. Mehta in effigy. She appealed to the state government for help, but fearing more violence, local officials asked the film crew to leave." Elisabeth Bumiller reports.
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