"Amu," the ambitious debut feature by Shonali Bose, wears its political heart on its sleeve and is unafraid to tackle big topics: identity, history, truth, injustice.
The film, which begins as a gentle comedy of clashing cultures, follows Kaju Roy (Konkona Sen Sharma), an Indian-American visiting relatives in Delhi. Searching for what she calls "the real India," Kaju, orphaned at 3, is searching for herself and, soon, interrogating the past. And a bloody past it is.
Bose's real concern here is the riots that broke out in 1984 after India's prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. Thousands of Sikh men and boys in Delhi were murdered, and as Kaju learns, families were dispersed, and justice has been delayed and denied....
Near the end we glimpse a newscast reporting that communal violence has erupted in Gujarat, a reminder that the ugly spirit of 1984 persists. [Link]
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