This month we are screening The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at the Karachi library.

The film is a fun and frivolous look at a group of British pensioners who move to Jaipur to retire. Their host at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is Sonny, has to do his best to keep them all happy while dealing with his own problems, namely his controlling mother who disapproves of Sonny’s choice of wife. The film explores the differences between culture in the UK and India and reminds us that there is always common ground.

There is a long and rich history of films which explore the ties between the UK and South Asia. Here, we take a look at a few of the best, some of which are based on brilliant books we have in our library catalogues.

Anita and Me by Meera Syal

Meera Syal is a celebrated British comedian, writer and actress, with roots in New Delhi. Her book Anita and Me was made into a film in 2002 to great acclaim. The story follows Meena, a twelve year old girl with Indian parents, who lives in a mining village in the UK in 1972. When the tall, blond and charismatic Anita moves to the area, Meena is desperate to impress her. However, the cracks soon begin to show as two cultures collide in this coming of age tale.

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Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Reaching from rural Bangladesh to the heart of multi-cultural London, Brick Lane follows two sisters who embark upon two very different romantic paths. Ali’s book was adapted into a film in 2007, and captures the differences between these two worlds, and opposing types of love beautifully.

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Trishna

Based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Trishna is a British-Swedish-Indian drama which premiered in 2011. The story examines just how restrictive social structures can be, following Trishna’s tragic journey and unhappy relationship with British businessman, Jay.

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Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

Danny Boyle’s 2008 adaptation of Swarup’s novel, Slumdog Millionaire was a worldwide hit, sweeping up awards and touching the hearts of millions. An exhilarating story of one young man’s fight to survive to go on to win India’s Who Will Win A Billion, the film unflinchingly accounts the poverty of the slums in India, while still remembering the beauty of life and the importance of hope. Slumdog Millionaire sees a stellar performance from rising star, Dev Patel, a British actor born to Indian parents.

Read the book

Get the DVD

Bend It Like Beckham

This 2002 film became a huge hit in the UK thanks to its quirky humour and brilliant female leads. The film follows eighteen year old Jesminder who is mad about football, much to the dismay of her Punjabi Sikh parents. When a new friend, Jules, spots Jesminder’s talents and encourages her to join a team, things really get interesting. A story about family and finding your own way, Bend It Like Beckham has quickly joined the canon of brilliant British films.

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