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Cover to New Yorker Video release
Directed by Deepa Mehta
Produced by Anne Masson
Deepa Mehta
Written by Deepa Mehta (screenplay)
Bapsi Sidhwa (novel)
Starring Aamir Khan
Maia Sethna
Nandita Das
Shabana Azmi
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Giles Nuttgens
Editing by Barry Farrell
Distributed by Zeitgeist Films
Release date(s) 16 September 1998 (Toronto Film Festival)
Running time 101 min.
Country India
Language Hindi
English Punjabi
Preceded by Fire (1996)
Followed by Water (2005)

Earth (Hindi: अर्थ; released in India as 1947: Earth) is a 1998 film directed by Deepa Mehta. It is based upon Bapsi Sidhwa's novel, Cracking India, (1991, U.S.; 1992, India; originally published as Ice Candy Man, 1988, England). Earth is the second part of a linked trilogy by Mehta; it was preceded by Fire (1996) and followed by Water (2005).



The story is set in Lahore in the time period directly before and during the partition of India in 1947.

A young girl with polio, Lenny (Maia Sethna), narrates the story through the voice of her adult self (Shabana Azmi). She is from a wealthy Parsi family who hopes to remain neutral to the rising tensions between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims in the area. She is adored and protected by her parents, Bunty (Kitu Gidwani) and Rustom (Arif Zakaria) and is cared for by her Ayah, the beautiful Hindu woman, Shanta (Nandita Das). Both Dil, the Ice-Candy Man (Aamir Khan) and Hassan, the Masseur (Rahul Khanna) are Muslim and in love with Shanta. Shanta, Dil, and Hassan are part of a larger multi-ethnic group of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh friends (some of whom work for Lenny's family) who spend their days together in the park. With partition, however, this once unified group of friends becomes divided and tragedy ensues.


Critical reception



Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and states that Earth, "is effective because it doesn't require much history from its viewers, explains what needs to be known, and has a universal message."[1] The New York Times described it as "a powerful and disturbing reminder of how a civilization can suddenly crack under certain pressures."[2] The New Yorker argues that, "Deepa Mehta handles her material convincingly, and the cast is so likable that they wear the larger themes like beautiful garments."[3] notes that, "Aamir Khan has probably given the best performance of his life. It is hard to imagine another actor bringing alive the nuances of the ice-candy man the way he does."[4] Planet Bollywood gave the film a 9.5 out of 10 and stated that, "Earth is strongly recommended to those who want to see a different type of Hindi film and who are tired of the usual boy meets girl stories and revenge dramas."[5]

Awards and nominations


1947: Earth
Soundtrack by A. R. Rahman
Released 1998 (India)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Film soundtrack
Label T-Series
Producer A.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Dil Se
1947: Earth
Doli Saja Ke Rakhna

The soundtrack features 9 songs composed by A. R. Rahman and lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar.

Song Artist(s)
Ruth Aa Gayee Re Sukhwinder Singh
Banno Rani Sadhana Sargam
Dheemi Dheemi Hariharan
Raat Ki Daldal Hain Sukhwinder Singh
Piano Theme Instrumental
Yeh Jo Zindagi Hain Srinivas, Sujata Trivedi
Ishwar Allah Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha Mohan
Yeh Jo Zindagi Hain Srinivas, Sukhwinder Singh
Theme Music Instrumental


  1. ^ Ebert, Roger (1999-10-15). "Earth". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 9 December 2008.  
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (1999-09-19). "'Earth': India Torn Apart, as a Child Sees It". New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2008.  
  3. ^ Gustavson, Jeff (1999-09-27). "Earth". The New Yorker. Retrieved 9 December 2008.  
  4. ^ Verma, Suparn (1999-09-10). "Breaking new ground". Rediff. Retrieved 9 December 2008.  
  5. ^ Joshi, Aniket Joshi. "Earth". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 9 December 2008.  

External links


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