Distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 1123 Broadway, Suite 307, New York, NY 10010; 800-542-2164
Produced by Joe MacDonald
Directed by Anand Ramayya
VHS, color, 50 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Canadian Studies, Asian Studies, Multicultural Studies, Film Studies, Religious Studies
Reviewed by Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Date Entered: 4/14/2005
The initial intent of director Anand Ramayya was to make a documentary chronicling his father’s return to India to make a film. Ramayya’s mother, father, and older brother moved to Canada in the 1960s; he was born there and considers it his home. Ramayya’s plans for his film change after learning of his mother’s diagnosis of cancer. When she requests that the family make a pilgrimage to Tirupati - the equivalent of Mecca for Muslims or Jerusalem for Christians - the focus of the documentary shifts from his father to his whole family.
Together in India for the first time in 25 years, they visit their old homes and friends. Except for a brief period during his childhood, this is the first time that Ramayya has had a chance to interact with his extended family. As he learns more about them and about Indian culture, his perceptions of both his family and of himself change.
The film quality and sound are generally good, and the dialog is primarily in spoken English. English subtitles are provided when necessary.
This is a simultaneously sad, funny, and thoughtful examination of family relations, identity, and spirituality. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.