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Review: Indelible Lalita

By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 8, 2013
3.0 3.0 Stars

indelible_lalita

Over time, the vicissitudes of the human body can wreak havoc with one's sense of identity. Take the case of Lalita, a woman born in Bombay who contracted vitiligo, a disease that destroys skin pigment and gradually turned her normally dark skin white. Stigmatized in India, she moved to Paris in the '60s and there married a French Canadian. In Paris she still had skin dark enough for her neighbors to mistake her for an Arab, and their prejudice compelled the couple to move to Montreal. There her skin became entirely white, and adding to the challenges to her racial and cultural origins, her identity as a woman came under assault when she was stricken with ovarian and breast cancer. Told limpidly and poetically by director Julie Mallozzi, with metaphorical montages combining images of passports, engravings of plants, and eerily beautiful X-rays, sonograms, and MRIs, this gently inspiring documentary suggests that, at least in Lalita's case, identity can transcend all change.
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