Alarmed by its depiction of how two empty marriages could result in a taboo love affair, Hindu fundamentalists in India angrily picketed theaters showing director Deepa Mehta’s breakthrough film, Fire. Screenings in India were abruptly halted in 1998, three weeks after Fire’sinitial release, so government censors could re-vet the work; two months later the film was re-released unedited. The first in Mehta’s epic “Elements” trilogy, Fire mirrors the events surrounding its release: modern-day India at a crossroads between firmly rooted traditions and evolving social norms.
The film screens, and stars Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das speak, at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Maximum India Festival at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $12. (202) 467-4600.