Monday, September 18, 2006

Films This Moment(L.Pendharkar,2004),Library Manju(P.Angunawela,2005), We're Indian and African:Voices of the Sidis(B.Shroff,2005

Tonight is the second of two nights in the Diaspora to Diaspora: African-American/South Asian Encounters film series at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History and my wife and I are planning on attending. They are scheduled to show three short films with post-film discussion moderated by Leena Pendharkar, who wrote and directed This Moment, the first film to be screened. The films that are being shown are:

  • This Moment. A 15-minute film story of an Indian-American woman Uma Balachandran in her twenties who is in love with African-American John Ray. How does a second generation immigrant reconcile her family's partiality to her marrying somebody from the old country with her own preferences? In addition to an imdb entry, this film has its own website on Leena's Spicy Mango Productions.
  • Library Majnu. The festival website describes this a modern Romeo-and-Juliet story with a Bollywood twist; I believe that this is a 2005 TV show directed by Paul Angunawela and written by Shehzad Chaudhary.
  • We're particularly looking forward to the documentary We're Indian and African: Voices of the Sidis. Beheroze Shroff of the UCSD Department of Literature has made this 22-minute film exploring the lives of the Afro-Indian Sidis of Bava Gor, a village in Gujarat. Also known as Sheedi (शीदि in Hindi), this Sufi community descended from Zanzibar slaves are followers of ancient saint Bava Gor. In the 12th century, they settled in India (Gujarat) and modern day Pakistan (Balochistan and Sindh) and have preserved their African musical roots in their devotion; the film depicts this, as well as their sacred Goma-Dhammal dance, and relationship of the Sidis to Parsis in Mumbai.


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