Hiding Divya

Rehana Mirza’s locally set (New York/New Jersey) film  touches on something I don’t think I’ve ever seen represented in any Indian-American production before: mental illness. Madhur Jaffrey plays Divya, the recently widowed mother of Palini, or Linny, (Pooja Kumar) and grandmother to the teenage Jia (Madelaine Massey).   As the movie opens, we  see  Linny […]

Gandhi at Bat

  This black and white short film by Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm is done in the style of the old Movietone newsreels and is based on a story by Chet Williamson that appeared in The New Yorker in 1983.   The story is that Gandhi comes to New York and visits Yankee Stadium to […]

Umrao Jaan

  J.P. Dutta, who previously gave us such man-laden war epics as Border, seems to have  gotten in touch with his feminine side, producing a costume drama that will have Merchant Ivory Indophile types (hallo!) swooning over the clothes, jewels and sets, with his remake of Umrao Jaan, the story of the heartbreak and misfortunes […]

Punching at the Sun

  Finally!   A genuinely funny and touching movie about what it’s like to be young, Indian and American, and growing up in the U.S. But wait, that’s not what this story is primarily  about, and maybe that’s why it doesn’t suffer the same fate as earlier movies that were only about that East-Vest mix […]

Necessary Illusions

It was amazing to me how Fayeque Rahman was able to create such increasing tension in his 20-minute film about a young Canadian architecture student (of Iranian origin) who is deemed suspicious at an unnamed U.S. airport, and abruptly  detained for questioning.   At first, the twentysomething guy on his way to study and visit […]


  The 20-minute film by Avie Luthra narrates how a young South African AIDS orphan leaves his village to live with an uncle in Durban, who is not too thrilled to have the child for a new companion.   In the opening scene, as Lucky buries his rusted metal airplane, I thought of  Amar, Akbar, […]