West is West continues cultural exploration

  • May. 11, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Vernon Film Society

Filmgoers will be able to see the Toronto Film Festival favourite West is West at the next Vernon Film Society offering Monday.

Many will recall the previous movie East is East, which told of a Punjabi family trying to adjust to living in Salford, Manchester.

The head of the family, George Khan, played by Om Puri  (familiar from his roles in Such a Long Journey and Gandhi) is married to an English woman. Together with their children, they experience many humorous moments as they struggle to live within two cultures.

This latest film takes place a few years later, when George decides to take his youngest son back to the Punjab to re-discover his roots. Once there, George is reunited with the wife he had left 30 years before and has to face his own transgressions and realize he himself has much to learn.

Newcomer Sajid Khan plays the 13-year-old son who feels much more English than Punjabi and has many difficulties living the village life that his father has brought him to.

When George’s English wife (Linda Bassett) decides to join the family, the meeting with the non-English-speaking first wife creates an interesting situation as the two wives communicate and come to an understanding.

Though different in tone from the first movie, the same screenwriter (Ayub Khan-Din) brings a story of people defining themselves within two cultures, a common situation with many families in this age of immigration, especially for the young who may not wish to carry on with the traditions and rites of their parents and grandparents.

East is East is available at Vernon Art Gallery/Vernon Film Society video rental for those who wish to know about this family from their first movie.

West is West will be shown at the Towne Cinema Monday, May 16 at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. All tickets are $7, available at the door and one week prior at the Bean Scene.