Mira Nair film series

Mondays at 7 pm, Alston Hall 30, beginning January 25.

Asian Studies films this semester begin with a series of three films by Mira Nair, the international-award winning film director whose films address issues of love, family, culture and identity in transnational Indian communities (pdf).

  • Jan. 25 The Namesake (2006, English with Bengali)

Gogol Ganguli is torn between his parents’ Indian traditions and his decidedly modern lifestyle. Based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s best-selling novel, this coming-of-age drama explores first-generation Americans’ delicate dance between culture and identity.

Starring: Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, House); Irfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire)

  • Feb 1 Mississippi Masala (1992, English)

Partially filmed in the South, Mississippi Masala presents an Indian-American family transplanted from Uganda to rural Mississippi.  Struggling to make ends meet by running a string of motels, complications arise when the daughter falls for an African American entrepreneur.

Starring: Denzel Washington (Gangsters); Sarita Choudhury (Lady in the Water)

  • Feb. 8   Monsoon Wedding (2001, Hindi and English with English subtitles)

An extended family reunites to celebrate an arranged marriage in New Delhi. But long-guarded secrets threaten to tear the family apart. As wedding preparations proceed, five stories intersect, highlighting different aspects of love and crossing boundaries of class and continent.

Starring: Naseeruddin Shah (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)