Director James Ivory's HEAT AND DUST tells two parallel stories set in India, one in the present and the other in the days of British rule. In 1920s India, a young English bride, Olivia (Greta Scacchi), finds herself in a passionate, forbidden affair with the local Nawab (Shashi Kapoor). In the second story, Olivia's great niece, Anne (Julie Christie), travels to India and there learns of her great aunt's affair with the Nawab, her subsequent pregnancy, and her exile from the British community. Anne's life begins to roughly imitate that of Olivia's when she has an affair with a local Indian administrator (Zakir Hussain) and also becomes pregnant. Merchant Ivory screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala based the film's screenplay on her own acclaimed novel of the same name. Jhabvala was raised in England but after meeting her husband, an Indian architect, moved to India, where she lived for 24 years. Her screenplays AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PRINCESS, HULLABALOO OVER GEORGIE AND BONNIE'S PICTURES, and HEAT AND DUST reflect her own experiences as a British citizen living in a foreign land. At the time the film was released in 1983, HEAT AND DUST was Merchant Ivory's biggest commercial success.