Nandita Das And Deepa Mehta Revisit FIRE: The Film That Continues To Spark Debates And Discussions!

Nandita Das And Deepa Mehta Revisit FIRE: The Film That Continues To Spark Debates And Discussions!

On the sidelines of the Kashish Pride Film Festival 2024, the two storehouses of powerful cinema speak exclusively with the 'Free Press Journal' to discuss the film that influenced, if not exactly altered, the filmography that revolves around LGBTQIA spectrum.

Prathamesh JadhavUpdated: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 12:34 PM IST
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Nandita Das And Deepa Mehta Revisit FIRE: The Film That Continues Spark Debates & Discussions! | A still from the trailer

FIRE continues to rage on even after 25 years of debates it has sparked and the controversies it has garnered, so when one sits down with the filmmaker Deepa Mehta and actor Nandita Das, one is curious to find out if the conversations around the film have matured in all these years.

"Oh they did not even have words to phrase it appropriately. The vocabulary didn't exist. How did you feel doing "that kind of a relationship" would quiz even the dailies back in the day. There was not LGBTQIA spectrum, all they could say was homosexual relationships. I thinks things have changed but can we hasten it and we can we have more compassionate and more equal society? Well, we still have a long way to go," expresses Nandita.

"You just turn on any OTT platforms and you will see a lot content about homosexuals and lesbians or relationships that different. There have been changes I see. You see people trying to tell their stories. In retrospect I feel that the fact that it came around when it did actually started the conversation," shares Deepa.

What are your views on the festivals like Kashish where films are made, screened and judged about the community, and what's the significance of the 'exclusive' nature in the day and age where inclusion is the need, we quiz the two. "That's an interesting question. I think it is different for different countries," states Deepa. "I think there's a need for a space where one feels that they belong. And because inclusion in the truest sense has not happened as yet therefore one needs that kind of comfort. Over a period of time we need to include more allies and more people, otherwise we create walls. So the quest is to make it more inclusive that everybody starts feeling it's their festival as well," elaborates Nandita.

"I guess we should be inclusive when it comes to any issue be it the change in weather, going green, climate change or caste discrimination we should come together and stand together. Let's embrace the word and open up the doors." adds Deepa.

Should the stories of homosexuals turning/going back to being heterosexuals need to be accepted as the argument goes that gender is all fluid, we argue. "Basically, we should be more acceptable of anything beyond what we think or what our values maybe. We need to give that space to each other. Also with terms such as being progressive or secular or LGBTQ community, we tend to judge each other a lot. There should be a space where we agree or disagree or even agree to disagree, but that space must exist. I guess that space to have a genuine space is shrinking because everything has to be for or against," insists Nandita.

"We have forgotten to listen in this social media age where the message has to be delivered in 140 words. We don't listen enough and that's the biggest problem," points out Deepa.

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