DILIP MEHTA: Forgotten Woman Documentary

Every widow whom I filmed and who agreed to speak on camera was forthright. There was invariably an outpouring of their souls of emotions that were scarred, of feelings that were suppressed, of hopes and dreams that remained unfulfilled.
+ + +

DILIP MEHTA was born in 1952 in New Delhi, India. He's been a Founding Member of Contact Press Images since 1977. Early in his career, he won international acclaim for his coverage of the Gandhi family and his five-year reportage on the 1984 Bhopal tragedy, the worst chemical disaster in history. He has since produced extensive work from the US, the former USSR, China, South Asia and, in particular, from his native India where he is a veteran of the political scene. A regular contributor to the National Geographic, GEO in Germany and France, and Fortune magazine in the USA, in recent years he has documented the effects of widespread modernization on Asian society, especially in his own country.

I was first aware of Dilip's work years ago when his photographs accompanied "Tibet In Exile: Looking Homeward", a Geo Magazine photo essay (May 1981, pp 84-110). The article included, rarely seen at that time, photographs of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in his home in Dharamsala, India. Dilip told me recently his fondest memory "was of His Holiness repairing 2 camera bodies that had inexplicably stopped working while I was photographing him at 4:00 am in his bedroom for Geo."

In his award winning documentary, Forgotten Woman, Mehta offers a view of the life of some women forced to live in poverty in rural India once their husbands have died. The documentary follows Dilip's sister, Deepa Mehta's, Oscar nominated film Water. "Deepa's guiding hand has been present for my entire life. 'Water' certainly galvanized me to make this feature length documentary. The inspiration came entirely from the widows themselves," said Dilip, whose documentaries international screenings include the Dubai International Film Festival and the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

The film opened in New York with 4 stars–“Mr. Mehta puts an unforgettable face on a problem of unimaginable scope.” Nathan Lee- The New York Times.


Directed and filmed by Dilip Mehta, and written by Deepa Mehta


Bea said...

Powerful. I had no idea. I'm sitting here with tears running down my face.
What has happened to humanity?
Something went seriously wrong in the "plan". Thank you again, Elizabeth for bringing this to my attention. :)Bea

Ange said...

Elizabeth, this is a subject very close to my heart. I am looking forward to discovering the Forgotten Woman documentary. Hope to make it to Tibet myself too this year to work with women's groups. Won't be sending you my photos though ;-)
Thank you - what a wonderful post.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Can't wait to see this. Synchronistically, the other night we watched Unmistaken Child, a documentary about a Tibetan monk who undertakes the search for his reincarnated mentor.

Anonymous said...

This is a very moving trailer. I hope to see the film on DVD or somewhere. Thank you for this information.