Calcutta Calling

Genre: Documentary
Ethnicity: South Asian American
Themes: Cultural Crossing/Return Visit, Identity/Representation,
Individual Profiles & Personal Stories
Date: 2004
Running Time: 26 min.
Director/Producer: Sasha Khokha
Availability: Center for Asian American Media
College/Institution: $175 Purchase/$50 Rental
K-12/Public Library/Community Group: $99 Purchase/$40 Rental
A white luxury tour bus squeezes its way through a narrow Calcutta alleyway, child beggars clawing at its windows.  The kids inside the bus look like Indian children, but for their walkmans, hip hugger jeans, and white American parents.  They’re separated from the children on the street by a thin window, and a stroke of luck.  Adopted from Calcutta and raised in rural, Swedish-Lutheran Minnesota, these girls – and their adoptive parents – are visiting the girls’ country of birth for the first time.  The film follows three families – hog farmers, lesbian moms, and a girl who is the only brown kid in her high school – as they travel from the prairie to the crowded, urban chaos of Northern India.  It’s journey of friendship among Minnesota teenagers – who find their reflection not only in the children on the street, but in each other.  (Courtesy of the Center for Asian American Media)

Steve Talbot, Series Editor, PBS Frontline/World, 2006.

Supplementary Materials
The official PBS website for the film includes director interviews, background information,  and more.
See also the filmography entries for Daughter from Danang and Precious Cargo.

Asian American Filmography ExEAS