Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala selected for screening at John F. Kennedy Centre

MUMBAI: Ketan Mehta’s film Mirch Masala is slated for a special screening at the John F. Kennedy Centre in Washington DC on 20 March, 2011. The John F. Kennedy Centre is currently holding the Maximum India festival featuring the dance, music, cinema, literature, theatre and cuisine of India from 1 to 20 March.

Mehta’s movie is selected for a screening on 20 March, 2011 at 5 pm at its Terrace Theater.

Mirch Masala is a film about oppression. It’s the story of a feudal village in pre-Independence India and how the powerless of the village—the old men and the women—risk all they have to fight that oppression. It tells the story of a woman whose husband is away in the city. She spurns the advances of the tax collector, who is known for demanding more than taxes, and flees to a spice factory. The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Raj Babbar, Suresh Oberoi, Benjamin Gilani, Om Puri, Deepti Naval, Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak.

Mehta says, “Mirch Masala was a film that cut straight across the social lines. The power of cinema lies in its ability to cut across social barriers. We used metaphor of Mirch Masala to symbolize the fiery strength of a woman and above all a human being against all forms of oppression. The film portrays the feisty and fiery, uncompromising and strong willed woman who fights to save her dignity against all odds. Kennedy centre enjoys an international reputation for the quality of films screened at the festival. I am completely thrilled that a film like Mirch masala is selected for screening.”

Apart from the screening of Mirch Masala, Mehta will also be a part of discussion on Indian women in films on 15 March, 2011 moderated by actress Nandita Das with Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore, director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Dilip Basu.
Other films being screened range from Satyajit Ray’s classic Pather Panchali to the recent Dhobi Ghat.