Sunday, April 6, 2008
Principally, I was impressed with how the film provided a history of Indians in Uganda. Director Mina Nair was able to vividly portray how an individual's assumed identity can abruptly change as a result of large-scale political and social upheaval. These uncontrollable events are a major factor in international migration, and consequently force all the members of Meena's family to rapidly adjust to a different society. While Meena's father remains tied to the label of a Ugandan Indian, Meena and her mother attempt to adjust to living amongst South Asian Americans in the United States. Meena's assimilation appears to have occurred in a gradual and almost natural sense, as she was quite young when the family settles in Mississippi. However, Meena does not attempt to become another Asian American stereotype that works hard solely to end up at a prestigious university. Aware of her family's financial situation, Meena decides to forge her own path in life, disregarding the racial and social norms prevalent throughout the South and within the local the Indian American community. Meena's mother thus fills in the gap between the two character extremes. Overall, both Meena and her father struggle to find a sense of place while her mother attempts to live by the phrase, "home is where the heart is."