If you're at all curious about the roots of the ongoing dispute between Pakistan and India, you could do worse than to watch this sumptuous historical melodrama from Indian-born director Deepa Mehta. The film opens in 1947, on the eve of India's independence from
250 years of British rule, and is set in the city of Lahore, in what is now Pakistan. Eight-year-old Lenny Sethna (Maia Sethna) and her wealthy parents (Kitu Gidwani and Arif Zakaria) are among the small minority of India's Parsee; her nanny and close companion Shanta (Nandita Das) is Hindu. Each
day Shanta takes her charge to a nearby public park where Sikhs, Muslims and other Hindus freely associate. The...