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Heat and Dust

By Jeff Shannon

A persistent clash of cultures lies at the heart of Heat and Dust, the Merchant/Ivory team's most acclaimed drama prior to 1985's A Room with a View. The celebrated trio of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala were perfectly suited to this time-skipping story of thwarted romance, based on Jhabvala's novel, in which the colonial British find themselves perpetually at odds with the vibrant rhythms of India. In this most sensual of environments, two related British women, separated by six decades, discover that their independent spirits are not entirely welcomed within the confines of colonial etiquette. Olivia (Greta Scacchi) defies her stringent husband in the 1920s, while her great-niece Anne (Julie Christie) discovers, upon getting pregnant by an Indian local in the early '80s, that she and Olivia have more than a little in common. Jhabvala's feminism is subtle but forcefully dramatized, and under Ivory's sensitive direction, this tale of two women is a defiantly resonant tribute to love wherever one may find it.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: James Ivory

Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove, Julian Glover, Susan Fleetwood, Shashi Kapoor, Madhur Jaffrey, Barry Foster, Zakir Hussain, Patrick Godfrey

Released: September 15, 1983

Availability: DVD VHS


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