Amu starts off as a personal journey and grows, slowly and confidently, into a much larger social and political document.
Kaju (Konkona Sen Sharma) is a young South Asian student from Los Angeles. She is in India to visit her cousins, explore her roots and go back to the village where she was born. Kaju is adopted, and wants to see what remains of the tiny settlement where she was born and where her parents died of malaria.
Having been adopted at age 3, Kaju believes she has no memories of India at all. When she visits a Delhi slum, however, and later ventures near the train station, she remembers brief moments from her childhood....
When Kaju's mother Keya turns up from Los Angeles as a surprise for her daughter, the story of Amu begins to change. Keya (the magnificent Brinda Karat, who is actually a politician and feminist leader in India) is the only one who knows the details of Kaju's birth parents. When Kaju starts to ask specific questions, Keya doesn't know what to tell the girl, and what to leave out.
It is revealed that Kaju's parents were involved in the anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984. This hidden chapter in Indian history meant the murders of between 5,000 and 10,000 Sikhs (there was never an official count) over three days, deaths helped along by police and government participation. The facts of the riots, the complicity of officials and the attempt to help people forget any of it ever happened are all filtered through Kaju's grief, as she learns about the tragedy of her childhood. [Link]
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