East Is East

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"When I came to this country, I had no luggage. Today what have I got?" His daughter replies. "You got a chip shop dad." And this is exactly how East Of East stereotypes its leading characters and then slowly twists them on their head. Its opening scene depicts a family of diversity and broken down stereotypes. A Christian parade is filing along the streets of Salford, Manchester and the Khan children join the throng of participants to the pride of their mother, but upon hearing their father is observing from further down the street, the children race through the back alley's, only to rejoin the parade once it has passed their unsuspecting father. The Khan children's "great escape" is an apt opening to East Is East, as we understand the Khan children to be of a biracial and interfaith marriage. East Of East is set during 1971 in the Manchester area of Salford, and George Kahn (Om Puri), a Pakistani immigrant is trying to instil traditional Pakistani values in his seven children, six boys and one girl, a task which is embellished in confusion by his British wife and the British culture that surrounds their everyday life. The problem belying George's task is that his children see themselves as British and are angered and resolute at their father's plans, even at times, practising Catholism, eating bacon and sausages and in the case of some of the older boys, fooling around with white girls. And here is where the breakdown of stereotypes normally depicting Pakistani and British culture becomes clearer to its audience. His son Saleem (Chris Bisson) is studying art but lies to his father, pretending to study engineering, his daughter, Meena (Archie Panjabi) is a tomboy who enjoys soccer and when the eldest son Nazir (Ian Aspinall) rejects an arranged marriage and his father disowns him. But, despite the disaster of losing one son to his unbending beliefs, George moves forward with plans to marry off Tariq (Jimi Mistry) and Abdul (Raji James) to passive, simple...
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