I for India 0+

Sandhya Suri, ITÁ - NĚM 2005, original version / Czech sub-subtitles, 70 min

Thirty-three-year-old Indian doctor Jas Pal Suri was far from unique in moving to the United Kingdom in the 1960s in search of better conditions. His wife and daughter went with him, but the rest of his family remained in India. To help maintain family ties Jas bought himself an 8-mm camera and projection equipment. He sends his audiovisual "letters" to relatives in India. Many years later, Jas's daughter Sandhja Suri decides to use this family "correspondence" as the basis for a feature-length documentary. She combines her father's old and contemporary recordings with BBC archive material. This gives the story of one family a broader context, one which reflects the problems of the Indian minority in the UK. However, intimate scenes dominate the picture. Tenacious efforts to maintain contact with distant relatives bear witness to the great importance of family. The video messages reveal that the longer Jas is away the greater family pressure becomes on him to return home. But is it possible to return once again to the path that the young Jas left behind forty years earlier? And what does this mean for two near-adult daughters whose ties are to another country?


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