Notable Female Indian Filmmakers: Background information when reading Love, Hate and Other Filters

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Love, Hate and Other Filters

by Samira Ahmed

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed X
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2018, 288 pages
    Jan 2019, 312 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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Notable Female Indian Filmmakers

This article relates to Love, Hate and Other Filters

Print Review

At one point in Love, Hate, and Other Filters, Maya's best friend Violet tells her that love is "a part of who you are, not an object you can film and capture in different kinds of light." Maya is used to viewing the world - including her own life - through the lens of film. She wants to be a documentary filmmaker, and Ahmed's novel mentions several filmmakers - many of them Indian women - who provide inspiration for Maya's future career. Numerous women from India and of Indian descent are making memorable and groundbreaking films, including documentaries. Here are just a few of these notable filmmakers:

Deepa MehtaDeepa Mehta is an Indian Canadian filmmaker best known for her "Elements" trilogy: Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005). Her films have been nominated for the Academy Award, but have also garnered protests by Hindu fundamentalists and even death threats for Mehta because of her films' depiction of controversial themes.

Mira NairMira Nair is among the best-known Indian American filmmakers. Her films include Missisissipi Masala (1991), Monsoon Wedding (2001), The Namesake (2006), and the Academy Award–nominated Salaam Bombay! (1998). In addition to making her own films, Nair has established a Ugandan-based film school to encourage young African filmmakers.

Pratibha Parmar and Alice WalkerPratibha Parmar is a British filmmaker whose documentaries have a strong activist agenda, particularly with regard to women's and queer rights. She is perhaps best known for Warrior Marks (1993), a collaboration with the novelist Alice Walker, about female genital mutilation. She has also made films about Walker herself, as well as about the actor Jodie Foster and the role of African American women in the US Civil Rights Movement.

Nishtha JainNishtha Jain is another Indian documentarian whose works address social issues. Lakshmi and Me (2007) is a documentary about the divide between an employer (Jain herself) and her domestic servant, while Gulabi Gang (2014) follows a vigilante group of women in rural central India who wear pink saris and combat violence against women (See review of Pink Sari Revolution, about the same group.)

Sherna DasturSherna Dastur is an Indian documentary filmmaker whose film Manjuben Truck Driver (2002) is about a woman deliberately dismantling gender stereotypes.

Deepa Mehta, courtesy of
Mira Nair
Pratibha Parmar and Alice Walker, courtesy of
Sherna Dastur, courtesy of
Nishtha Jain, courtesy of

Article by Norah Piehl

This "beyond the book article" relates to Love, Hate and Other Filters. It originally ran in January 2018 and has been updated for the January 2019 paperback edition.

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