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My Mother India - film review

It's a short film - under an hour - but My Mother India packs a lot in. Safina Uberoi, the narrator, tells the story of her mother, an Australian who married an Indian PhD student and moved to India, her father, a Sikh turned liberal atheist turned Sikh again, and his parents, a guru and a feisty misandrist. But what starts off as a quirky family story about personal identity and movement between cultures touches on darker issues of group identity, with the family on the edge of the communal violence sparked by the 1984 attack on the Sikh temple at Amritsar and the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

My Mother India touches on complex issues with sensitivity and balance - when, for example, the ethnic violence during the 1947 Partition is described briefly to provide historical context. It has what I would describe as "intellectual rigour", though that may seem a strange phrase to use of a film. And its engagement of our emotions is similarly honest.

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