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Cotton Mary DVD

In COTTON MARY, director Ismail Merchant explores the dynamics of being Anglo-Indian in post-colonial India. In 1954 British rule has officially ended in India but class-consciousness is still very much alive in the Macintosh household. After Lily Macintosh (Greta Scacchi) endures a painful pregnancy and delivery she becomes unable to breast-feed her baby daughter. Hospital nurse Cotton Mary (Madhur Jaffrey) comes to the rescue, secretly bringing the baby to her sister, a wet nurse, and uses the opportunity to become indispensably helpful and fulfill her ambitious desire to work in an English home. As an Anglo-Indian--she insists her father was a member of the British military--Cotton Mary ingratiates herself to Lily, considering herself more British than Indian. John Macintosh (James Wilby) is an absentee husband and father whose neglectful ways are fueled by the appearance of Mary's seductive niece, Rosie (Sakina Jaffrey, who is Madhur Jaffrey's real life daughter). Cotton Mary, whose nickname comes from her insistence upon wearing only British cotton, longs for acceptance by the white upper class members she serves while denouncing her Indian roots. Madhur Jaffrey, a long-time collaborator on Merchant Ivory productions, served as co-director of the film.

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