Passage to India, A [1984]

This adaptation of E.M. Forster's mysterious tale of British racism in colonial India turned out to be master director David Lean's final film. Subtle and grand at the same time, Lean's adaptation is faithful to the book, rendering its blend of the mystical and the all-too human with exquisite precision. Judy Davis plays a young British woman traveling in India with her fiancé's mother. While visiting a tourist attraction, she has a frightening moment in a cave--one that she eventually spins from an instant of mental meltdown into a tale of a physical attack that ruins several lives. Lean captures Forster's sense of awe at the kind of ageless wisdom and inexplicable phenomena to be encountered in India, as well as the British tendency to dismiss it all as savage, rather than simply different. --Marshall Fine

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