Film-maker Nicholas Khargonkor in attendance
Feb 26th 2020 |
Doors: 6.30pm Screening: 7.30pm
AFS Cinema, Austin
Member Tickets: $12
Non-Member Tickets: $15
2019 | 97 MIN. |Hindi; English Subtitles
On a hot summer day in Delhi, the plans of two young girls to cook a special pork dish for their best friend’s wedding are foiled. Their neighbors are adamantly against it because the dish smells. As they try out various ways to cook, this bittersweet comedy wafts through the pungent smells of racism in the metropolis.
6.30 - 7.15pm : Member Mixer
7.30 pm: Screening Starts (Film-maker Q&A after screening)
Chanbi and Upasna want to prepare a special North Eastern Dish, Axone Pork, for their best friend Minam’s wedding. The ingredients are bought, the stove is alight, the gang has gathered; there is just one glitch! They all live in New Delhi now and not Northeast India. And for people here, the dish emits a strong aroma, which seems to eliminate not from a culinary kitchen but more like from a...lavatory! The gang fears the pungent odour of the dish will invite their neighbours’ and landlord’s wrath! Comedic chaos ensues and unexpected obstacles arise as they struggle to find a safe place where they can prepare the dish in peace. The film explores the travails of this young group of buddies, as they grapple with outright racism and the upheavals of their interpersonal relationships, throughout the course of an eventful day!
Racism exists everywhere in the world. Including, of course, in India. We may rant about racist attacks on Indians abroad, but right here, in our own homeland, we practice it at will. In the major cities of India, the two communities that are regularly on the receiving end of racist attacks (there are terrifying videos circulating on the internet) are the Africans (a tiny minority) and NortheastIndians with their distinct East Asian faces (a larger minority).
Of course, it is another story that there is plenty of racism in the Northeast directed against non-Northeasterners with their South Asian looks (which ought to be the subject of a film, too).
This is a very personal story. I have lived outside the Northeast now for over 20 years. For a longtime, I have wanted to make a film about the Northeastern experienceof living in the city: about a tiny community of (mostly) young people who, in the way that they look, eat, dress and speak - sets them apart from the rest. But I didn’t want to make a bleak film. Because the truth is also that we find a lot of acceptance and love in the city; and for many of us, the city is our home. So the result is this funny and bittersweet film that gives you a peek into the lives of an oft-maligned community living on the fringes of society, celebrating their difference.
Nicholas Kharkongor has worked extensively in theatre and film for 20 years.
His plays have been performed in India and abroad, including in London and New York. In film, he assisted one of India's foremost indie filmmakers, Rajat Kapoor.
His debut feature, Mantra, starring Kalki Koechlin, RajatKapoor and Adil Hussain, won Best Film as the 2016 South Asian International Film Festival, presented by HBO, in New York.