Documenting Diaspora: Multiperspectivity in Sandhya Suri's Auto/Biographical Film "I for India"
Keywords:Indian diaspora, auto/biographical documentary, multiperspectivity, myth of return
Yash Pal Suri, a young Indian doctor, went to the UK in 1965 to complete his medical training. He equipped himself and his family back in India with a camera, tape recorder etc. so that they could film episodes of their lives and exchange 'cine-letters,' which they did for about 40 years. In 2005, Suri's daughter, Sandhya Suri, created a 70-minute documentary from her family's filmed stories and other sources, selecting and arranging the various scenes and voices recorded and combining them with clips from historical TV programmes as well as interviews and short scenes filmed between 2003 and 2005 in India and England. She re-constructs her transnational family's life story as embedded it in a complex set of factors and influences. Sandhya' documentary is, on various levels, both biographical (hers of her family, and family members talking about each other) and autobiographical (her presence in the film and family members talking about themselves), and these perspectives are deeply entangled. By emphasising her family's failed attempt to re-settle in India, she complicates the story of cultural integration. The result is a reconstruction of this diasporic life narrative from various angles and along the various axes of diasporic relations, especially those with home (India) and the host society, describing the position of the diasporic subject as in-between and continuously shifting.
This article was submitted on June 1st, 2014 and published on November 2nd, 2014.
Copyright (c) 2014 Gabriele M. Linke
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.