India

Wilbur Sargunaraj eats and drinks his way through his father's home village in his video "The Village Way: Food." And he's clearly having a good time, even when he downs some very hot "pepper water"!

(Perhaps the antidote is Goli soda, South India's favorite carbonated drink, with a marble sitting atop the bottle to seal in the bubbles.)

One day in the summer of 2013, 25-year-old Seteng Horo found herself on a bus to the nearest public hospital, about four hours away from her remote village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. It's not a trip she can afford to take often — buses are infrequent, the journey is long and the cost of about a dollar roundtrip is not insignificant. But she had no choice. She was running a temperature and had been bleeding for days. The reason: an unsafe abortion performed by a village midwife.

A new film projects a decidedly different perspective about one of the most convulsive episodes in India's modern age.

Kaum De Heere, or Diamonds of the Community, looks at the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — through the lens of her assassins.

Producer Satish Katyal rejects the criticism that the film eulogizes Gandhi's killers. "It has a human angle," he says. "It's about their personal lives. Why did they suddenly commit this act?"

The Indian film industry produces more than the glitz of Bollywood musicals. It has a sordid underbelly, too: the underground world of sex horror films.

Director Ashim Ahluwalia wanted to capture that reality, but had to turn to fiction to do it.

The new film Miss Lovely follows two brothers who produce soft-core porn in the 1980s, shooting in one-hour hotels and racing to keep one step ahead of the cops who would shut them down. Pornography is illegal in India; getting caught means a minimum of three years in jail, with no option of bail.

The nominations for the Oscars were announced this week, and while many of the big contenders, such as 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street, weren't a surprise, there were some controversies in different categories. Top among the film-world controversies was India's submission for best foreign language film, The Good Road, a drama about a truck driver in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

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