The Indian Diaspora

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Immaculate Conception

Jamil Dehlavi, UK/Pakistan.
120 mins.

Starring: Shabana Azmi, James Wilby, Melissa Leo

The idyllic ex-patriate lifestyle of Alistair (a British rep for the WWO) and Hannah have a harsh undercurrent of tension. He resents her American family's interference in their life, as well as the fact that Hannah cannot concieve despite every possible test.
Hannah persuades Alistair to accompany her to Gulab Shah's shrine, run by eunuchs with a reputation for curing infertility. Hannah concieves following a bizarre ceremony during which both of them convert to Islam.

Instead of finding joy, their lives begin to disintegrate. Alistair has an affair with Samira, the friend who told them about the shrine; Hannah's conversion causes a diplomatic incident, and the eunuchs refuse to leave the couple alone - firmly believing they have a share in Hannah's baby.

Tensions mount, clashing cultures and religious beliefs explode and guilty and innocent alike are damaged.


Thurday November 7th, 2002. 6 p.m.

 

 
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