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Longing and Belonging 1990s South Asian Film and Video

Longing and Belonging poster
Longing and Belonging

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The 1990s were a time of significant cultural production within Canada’s South Asian arts communities. Influenced by the 1980s Black Arts Movement in Britain, and in opposition to state-sponsored multiculturalism paradigms in Canada, South Asian became a generous identifier for a variety of communities united by more than geography. Longing and Belonging is loosely structured around themes of diaspora, desire, and identity.

Longing and Belonging is curated by Zool Suleman. Read his essay HERE.

Diaspora: Shorts Program

Surviving Sabu
Ian Rashid, Canada, 1998, 16 mins

Sabu, the iconic Indian film star of 1930s and 1940s British cinema (including films The Jungle Book and The Thief of Baghdad), is the flashpoint in the troubled relationship between a father and son in a Muslim family. Amin, the son, is making a film about Sabu, whose acting roles dried up once he reached adulthood. While Amin and his father Sandru once bonded over Sabu’s movies, they have now become the battleground for settling other, more personal arguments about sexuality and family obligations.

The Dreams of the Night Cleaners
Leila Sujir, Canada, 1995, 47 mins

Drama, archival footage, and animation are woven together in a fable format that explores the mythologies influencing our cultures at both societal and individual levels. Using intricate storytelling as well as humour, magic, and history, the misconceptions haunting the subjects’ lives are swept away. –KO