I couldn’t be more confident in saying that the 2017 London Asian Film Festival will be opening its doors to its widest audience yet as it presents to you a freshly powerful theme like no other before it: Memories Beyond Borders.
What an achievement it is for Tongues on Fire to be shining a spotlight on independent, South Asian films that are not only crossing literal, geographical borders but are also figuratively breaking barriers between religious, cultural and ethical issues. Partitions have historically been known to create ethnic anxiety and cultural clash amongst South Asians, spurring hate and injustice throughout the Asian heritage. Even in this progressive day and age, conflicts and hostilities between class, ethnic identities, religions and cultures seems to be a prevailing force, overriding years of hard work, love and passion. So, through all this pain, if witnessing the Asian Film Festival’s celebration of unity between characters of otherwise clashing backgrounds isn’t rewarding enough, then I don’t know what is!
Bridging gaps between South Asian and non-South Asian cultures is key in this year’s enticing selection of films. From Mango Dreams to Bazodee to Those Four Walls to Lipstick under my Burkha, I can already tell that TOF will be showcasing a diverse range of films that will make you laugh hysterically, then cry with a deep sorrow in your heart all within a matter of moments!
It’s fair to say that March is going to be one hell of a month, so be ready for it! TOF will be showcasing colourful, adventurous and most importantly, freshly original stories and modes of film-making when narrating some of the most beautifully painful journeys of courageous characters.
Mango Dreams for instance: a beautiful, ageless tale that follows a man’s quest to tie up loose ends as he ventures down a bitter-sweet memory lane. Having escaped the British partition of India, Dr. Amit Singh is forced to return to his childhood home one last time before dementia catches up with him, to face memories that have haunted him throughout his life. I can already hear the gripping words of Amit Singh ringing in my ear as I write this: “I have been running forward all my life. Running from my past. Maybe I should really go back home to my village”.
The theme of ‘Memories Beyond Borders’ is a celebration of difference and remembering memories of the past, and this beautiful tale couldn’t have made that more clear.
So whether you’re looking to have a bit of a laugh with friends and family, or waiting for that perfect tearful ending to sweep you off your feet, or a history lesson nothing like the ones you have in schools, (one with a splash of colour, traditional music, dancing and stories inspired by the South Asian heritage), or to simply sit back, relax and watch a really good, well-written film, the 2017 Asian Film Festival is the place for anyone to be! So get your tickets, bring your friends and family along and enjoy the ride you’ll never forget because you’ll be making colourful memories of your own just by being there!
By LAFF2017 Blogger Rim
Rim Karama is a 3rd year English and Film Studies student from Queen Mary University, published author, poet and film enthusiast.