The Indian Diaspora

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Lulu

Srinivas Krishna, Canada

90 mins.

Starring: Michael Rhodes, Kim Lieu, Clark Johnson

In 1993, I was travelling on a London bus when I saw this ad in the back of Time Out (a guide to what's happening in the capital). It was for a mail-order bride video," relates Srinivas Krishna, Lulu's director who co-wrote the screenplay with Robert Armstrong. "I thought the whole idea was pretty seedy, but I sent off for it anyway.

"I felt this tape was one of the most chilling documents of the 20th century. It raises so many questions: Who watches the tape? What type of man uses it? Why did these women choose to get married that way, and did they even have a choice?" says Krishna (Masala) of the story's genesis and subsequent development. "The tape gave you no real knowledge about them I saw the surface of each woman, but their faces divulged nothing. What disturbed me most as a filmmaker was how could an image be so devoid of meaning?"

Fascinated by the premise, Krishna crafted the intriguing story of Lulu, a Vietnamese mail-order bride, played by newcomer Kim Lieu whose only experience of acting was as a tree in a high-school production. Working behind the cosmetics counter of a Toronto department store, Lulu's make-up and public persona hide a refugee with a troubled past and an even more disturbing present, given the three men in her life (Clark Johnson, Michael Rhodes and Manuel Aranguiz).

 
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