The lack of realisation of the parents to understand that their children were a product of
both of their cultures and would obviously not be able to conform to just one was heartbreaking.
Adapted by Ayub Khan-Din from his own stage play, East Is East centres on Pakistani immigrant George Khan
(huge Bollywood star Om Puri)
still deeply attached to the moral and political mores of his homeland, but married to Englishwoman Ella (Linda Bassett).
Despite protests from his wife, Khan is adamant their six sons and daughter, raised to respect
traditional Muslim values, must enter into arranged marriages. However, the children are more intent on
pursuing the secret pleasures of interracial dating, bacon sandwiches and midnight forays to the nearest club.
The first time I watched this film on its release I laughed, it reminded me of so much about growing up in
Manchester, the conversations, the sets, the music it was like a trip down memory lane. Three years later
I watched it again and cried all the way through it. Second time around it invoked images of being forced to
conform to one culture or another and never being able to have a balance of both.
The lack of realisation of the parents to understand that their children were a product of both of their
cultures and would obviously not be able to conform to just one was heartbreaking.
East Is East is perfect for would-be parents of mixed-race children to watch and learn from.
But then maybe all parents could learn something, if you try to force your dreams on your children
they could end up being your nightmares.