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Mississippi Masala

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Director: Mira Nair
1991 / 118min / DCP

Twenty years after immigrating with her family to Greenwood, Mississippi, after dictator Idi Amin’s expulsion of Uganda’s Asian population, Mina (Sarita Choudhury) has assimilated to her adoptive home, where she works in the family motel chain—so much so that she thinks nothing of falling in love with a local boy, self-employed carpet-cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington). Moving beyond the division between Black and white that’s long defined depictions of the Deep South, Nair’s film depicts an increasingly diverse New South, revealing new discoveries and old resentments. The drama unfolds against a landscape of timeless beauty, the particularities of the dulcet Mississippi light captured by cinematographer Ed Lachman. “The lushness of the countryside, the vibrancy of the colors, are overpoweringly sensual, and the sudden danger in the air only adds to the vibrancy.”—The Los Angeles Times

New 4K digital restoration undertaken by the Criterion Collection and supervised by director Mira Nair and cinematographer Ed Lachman