“Family Style”is a reference to how we dine. It’s an environment where each person can try everything, and get an idea of all the possibilities. They can use that experience to refine their palette and develop their own tastes. From there, they can share their tastes with others in the future. CSAFF thinks movies should be no different. We aim to provide a sampling of South Asian films.
Entertaining a family is not easy. Just as it’s becoming more difficult for families around the world to dine together, such is the case for watching movies together. Nowadays, more and more people consume entertainment on their own, when it’s convenient for them as an individual, be it on their bedroom DVRs, computers, tablets or smartphones – essentially outside the family room. While finding the time to coordinate schedules is one factor, another factor is the kind of programming available.
And that’s why we’re here – to try and help. To give you a reason to spend some time together as a family while supporting a community organization. And to offer you the chance to experience something with your kids so that you can talk about it, and maybe even teach them about something new or important when you go home. Here’s to putting the “family” back in family films.
Here’s what we recommend for families that want to bring children. Admission for kids under 12 are free for these two films:
Gattu: 9 year old orphan, Gattu, works for his uncle, but only cares about one thing – bringing down Kali the mysterious kite that no one can defeat. He gets a few chances, but they all end up in defeat. Then he finds hope in the form of a school roof, but since he’s not a student, he has to figure out how to get into the school, and stay there, to take advantage of this higher ground to eventually get him a real shot at Kali. And when he comes face to face with the kite, it’s high risk, high reward. Bring your whole family, your kids, your parents, your friends. And bring glasses in case you have to read the subtitles.
Japari: The Dessert Mermaid – A solid follow up effort from Director Nila Madhab Panda, of I Am Kalam. This time, he deals with the more serious issue of how Indian villages, still to this day, view female babies vs. male babies. While shedding light on some serious issues, it’s also partially shown through the eyes of the children in the film as they experience it, so as long as you’re with your kids, we think it’s a good way for them to learn with you.
Here’s what we recommend as solid films about families or that deal with family issues (some that involve children and some that involve parents). While they touch upon some adults issues, we think they are acceptable for children to watch as well.
Listen Amaya – A modern story of a mother-daughter relationship that is strained by the possible addition of a familiar face, under a new dynamic – that of a husband for the mother and a step-father for the daughter. The story is something that many single parents, widowers, or stepchildren can relate to in the form of a family drama. The quiet performances from Deepti Naval (mother) and Farooq Shaikh (widower) really stand out, as they don’t have to say much to get across what they feel.
Masala – This fresh Marathi film follows a couple, Raven and Sarika, on their journey for livelihood. While they dabble in different entrepreneurial endeavors that lead them to subsequently better opportunities, they repeatedly learn that failure is the best teacher in achieving success. And success does arrive, they realize that their magic was always just under their noses. A light film with fun performances and a great soundtrack the carries the story forward in delivering its message.
A Decent Arrangement – The story of Ashok Khosla, an Indian American copywriter who goes to India to get married. Shabana Azmi brings a sense of humor, and a dose of reality to her role as Ashok’s cousin, helping him to navigate the modern scene of arranged marriage. What’s refreshing is that the lens through which we get to see the courting process reveals that the tradition of the arranged marriage has evolved, to the point where the bride’s side finally has some negotiating power, and that’s a nice metaphor for life and the economy in India vs. that in the US.
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