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I FOR INDIA
UK: ICA Films
Cast: Yash Pal Suri
Director: Sandhya Suri
UK: 79 mins
UK Release Date: 3 August 2007 (Limited Release - London, ICA and key cities)
A bitter-sweet time capsule of alienation, discovery, racism and belonging, I FOR INDIA is a chronicle of immigration in sixties Britain and beyond, seen through the eyes of one Asian family and their movie camera.
In 1965 Yash Pal Suri left India for the UK. The first thing he does on his arrival in England is to buy two Super 8 cameras, two projectors and two reel to reel recorders. One set of equipment he sends to his family in India, the other he keeps for himself. For forty years he uses it to share his new life abroad with those back home - images of snow, mini-skirted ladies dancing bare-legged, the first trip to an English supermarket - his taped thoughts and observations providing a unique chronicle of the eccentricities of his new English hosts.
Back in India, his relatives in turn, respond with their own 'cine-letters' telling tales of weddings, festivals and village life. As time passes and the planned return to India becomes an increasingly remote possibility, the joy and curiosity of the early exchanges give way to the darker reality of alienation, racism and a family falling apart.
I FOR INDIA is Suri's first feature length documentary. Suri studied at the The National Film and Television School. Her graduation film SAFAR screened at international film festivals, receiving the Jury's special mention at Cinema du Reel and the award for Best Short Film at the British Film Institute's Imagine Asia festival.