The Big Issue – August 05, 2019

(Kiana) #1

CULTURE


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FILM


L


uton,1987.“Gobackhometoyourowncountry.”ANationalFrontskinhead
inDocMartens,hisfacetwistedwithhate,spitsata17-year-oldBritish-
Pakistanikidwalkinghomefromcollege.Fiveyearsago,youmight’ve
watchedthisscenecomfortedbythethought:Wellatleastuglyblatantracism
likethatishistory,gonethewayofWalkmans,GoldenWondercrispsandtherestof
the1980sdetailinBlindedbytheLight, GurinderChadha’smostlylightweightcomedy-
ĢƢþůþȀěƷŎŻűþŦŎƪŎűłƷʼnĩ ǜƢŎƷĩƢþűĢGuardianjournalistSarfrazManzoor’smemoirabout
histeenageyearsinLuton.Buttoday,thepresidentoftheUnitedStatestweets‘goback',
wehavea PrimeMinisterwhocomparesMuslimwomentobankrobbersandracialhate
crimehasincreasedsinceBrexit.
It’sdepressinganditgivesBlindedbytheLightþ űþƪƷǢþǼƷĩƢƷþƪƷĩ᠄þ ěŻűƷĩůƟŻƢþƢǢ
chargethatwaspossiblynotonChadha’smindasshedirectedManzoor’sstorywith
a bittoomuchoftheweapons-gradefeelgoodthathasbecomeherbrandsinceBend
ItLikeBeckham. Inthedeterminationtoleavenocrowdunpleased,therearesome
shamelesslysentimentalscenesherethatlosetouchwiththeacute,sometimespainful
andemotionallygenerousspiritofManzoor'swritingaboutfamily.
Sayingthat,theManzoorcharacter,16-year-oldJaved,isbeautifullyplayedby
newcomerViveikKalra.He’sthesonofMuslimPakistaniimmigrants,hisdad(Kulvinder
Ghir)worksontheproductionlineatVauxhallandexpectshissontobecomean
accountantorsolicitor.ButJaveddreamsofa careerwriting(“writingisforEnglish
ƟĩŻƟŦĩǜŎƷʼnƢŎěʼnƟþƢĩűƷƪᡐ᠄ĢþĢƪþǢƪᠨ᠐ȃĩ ȀŦůŎƪ ǛĩƢǢłŻŻĢþƷ ƢĩěƢĩþƷŎűłƷʼnþƷůŻůĩűƷþƪ
þ ƷĩĩűþłĩƢǜʼnĩűǢŻƿ ȀűĢǢŻƿƢůƿƪŎěþŦƪŻƿŦůþƷĩᠵ Ʒʼnĩ ĚþűĢŻƢ ƪŎűłĩƢǜʼnŻþƢƷŎěƿŦþƷĩƪ
everythingyou’veeverfeltbutcouldn'tquiteputintowords.ForJavedit’sBruce
®ƟƢŎűłƪƷĩĩű᠄ǜʼnŻĚǢ  ژᚇᚆŎƪ ěŻűƪŎĢĩƢĩĢƿűƪƟĩþţþĚŦǢűþDzŁĚǢ ůŻƪƷƷĩĩűþłĩƢƪ᠐dþǛĩĢᡒƪ
ŦĩǼƷŎĩŦŻǛĩŎűƷĩƢĩƪƷ/ŦŎǬþᠧtĩŦŦàŎŦŦŎþůƪᠨƷĩŦŦƪʼnŎůǜŎƷʼnĢŎƪłƿƪƷƷʼnþƷ¦ŻűþŦĢ¦ĩþłþűŎƪ þ
Springsteenfan.ButforJaved,growingupinworking-classLutonfeelinglikehe’sgot
nofutureandzeroprospects,Springsteenishisman.MeanwhilehisEnglishteacher
(HayleyAtwell)encourageshimtokeepwriting.
ȃĩ ȀŦůŁĩþƷƿƢĩƪƪŻůĩűŎěĩŦǢěŻůŎě/ŎłʼnƷŎĩƪĢĩƷþŎŦƪ᠃¦ŻĚƢǢĢŻűǜŎƷʼnþ ¦ŻĢ®ƷĩǜþƢƷ
mulletgetssomelaughsplayingthemarkettraderdadofJaved’sbestmate.Andfew

BEHINDTHEBORDER


A tailor,taxidriveranda
14-year-oldboywithdreamsof
ĚĩěŻůŎűłþ ȀƪʼnĩƢůþűþƢĩ þůŻűł
theinhabitantsfeaturedinGaza,
a powerfuldocumentaryshowing
ordinarylifeinthewar-torn
region.“Abig,openprison”is
howoneofthemdescribesthe
stripoflandjust 25 mileslong
andhometoalmosttwo
millionPalestinians.

GazaisincinemasfromAugust 9

Y o u r h o m e t o w n


REVIEW ůŻůĩűƷƪþƢĩłĩűƿŎűĩŦǢʼnŎŦþƢŎŻƿƪᠵ
like an excruciating scene of social
awkwardness when Eliza invites Javed
ƢŻƿűĢŁŻƢ Ʒĩþ᠕ʼnĩƢ ȃþƷěʼnĩƢᠸŦŻǛŎűłƷƢƿĩ
blueToryparentsarefrightfullypolite
butclearlyaghastattheAsianboyin
theirhouse.
ȃĩƢĩᡒƪþ ŦŻƷ ŻŁ ěƢŻƪƪŻǛĩƢʼnĩƢĩƷŻŻ
withBendItLikeBeckhamᠵ þűŻƷʼnĩƢ
comingofagestoryabouta second-
generationkidtornbetweenduty
toa stricttraditionalfamilyandthe
desiretodoherownthing.Butwhere
Beckhamstrucka balanceoffunny
andwarm-hearted,BlindedbytheLight
attimesfeelslikepureemotional
manipulation,withsomecringe-
makingsong-and-dancenumbersto
Springsteentracks.
SƷᡒƪ Ʒʼnĩ ȀŦůᡒƪůŻƢĩƪĩƢŎŻƿƪ
momentsthatstayedwithme.Javed’s
shameandangerwhenfamilyfriends
downplaythedailyracistabuse
ŎűǴŦŎěƷĩĢŻű ƷʼnĩůĚǢ űĩŎłʼnĚŻƿƢƪᠵ þ
ƪǜþƪƷŎţþłƢþDzȀƷŎĩĢŻű Ʒʼnĩ ǜþŦŦ᠄ŦŎƷƷŦĩ
kidspissingthroughtheletterbox.
Javedhasgrownupsurroundedbythe
mantrathatAsiansneedtokeeptheir
ʼnĩþĢƪĢŻǜűᠵ þ ĚĩŦŎĩŁƢŻŻƷĩĢŎű ʼnŎƪ
parents’generation’sfearthatoneday
theycouldbesentback.Itshouldn’tbe
ƢĩŦĩǛþűƷƷŻĢþǢ᠄ĚƿƷ ƿƟƪĩƷƷŎűłŦǢ᠄þǼƷĩƢ
Windrush,itdoesn’tfeelcompletely
consignedtohistory.

BlindedbytheLightisincinemas
fromAugust 9
@CathxClarke

Born in the UK
Luton, to be exact.
Javed wants to write,
not work at a car plant

Racism, Thatcher and Luton. Gurinder Chadha’s Springsteen-
inspired comedy drama has moments of greatness but
today’s charged politics add a bitter taste, says Cath Clarke

ǻȀɯǼǼg&g]cǽǻǼȄ .&.]]gJCʸ 35
Free download pdf