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  • Sun 24 Jul
  • 108 minutes
  • Director: Deepa Mehta
  • Cast: Jaaved Jaafrey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Kushal Rekhi, Ranjit Chowdhry
  • India/Canada (1996)


The first of Deepa Mehta’s celebrated ‘Elements’ trilogy, FIRE was the first mainstream Bollywood film to explicitly depict homosexual relations in a culture adamantly denying such a love could ever exist and was banned in India as a result.

Sita and Radha are two young women abandoned by their husbands, who find intimacy and passion in each other in this erotic romantic drama.

FIRE is loosely based on "Lihaaf" ("The Quilt") written by Ismat Chughta who famously refused to apologise when her short story found itself the subject of an obscenity trial in India following its publication in 1942.

This film is subtitled.

Birds Eye View’s QUEERIOUS programme explores a multitude of desires on screen in ways we all too rarely see in cinema. Through stories of sexual (re)awakenings and queer love through a feminist lens, the season aims to help us to question, learn and enjoy our sexual selves.

QUEERIOUS is part of Film Feels Curious, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. Explore all films and events at