Skip to main content

LONELY IN AMERICA

USA, 1990 (MIFF 1991)

Director: Barry Alexander Brown

A comedic gem which reflects the universal immigrant experience as it explores the conflicts between old world values and the prerogatives of a younger generation, Lonely In America marks the directorial debut of Barry Alexander Brown, the accomplished editor of Do the Right Thing and Salaam Bombay!

Anticipation and dreams sparkle in the eyes of Arun, a young man in his early twenties who arrives in New York on a flight from Calcutta. Met by his "rich" sponsor and uncle, Max, Arun is swept into a new life which mainly consists of docile service at one of Uncle Max's frantic newsstands and a home life bereft of personal freedom.

Arun yearns for life beyond the East Indian community of Jadeson Heights and the confines of his uncle's stifling traditional concept of duty and honour. This conflict comes to a head when Arun wins a job with a computer Firm and moves out on his own. It is just here that events conspire to impose the darker side of the American experience upon him.

Lonely in America puts a fresh and very funny spin on a timeless subject; its vivid characterisations, accomplished visual and directorial style, and witty, incisive script bode well for the future of its gifted creative team.

Emigrees both - Indian actor Ranjit Chowdry and producer Tirlok Malik obviously know their material well.

Barry Alexander Brown made an effortless transition from editor to director, and the film's low budget shows just enough to maintain a few welcome rough edges and a liberal injection of energy.

See also...

Yum, Yum, Yum!: A Taste of Cajun & Creole Cooking of Louisiana

Les Blank marries his obsession with spicy, down home food and his fascination for the Cajuns and Creoles of Southern Louisiana, to create this mouth watering exploration into the cooking and culture ... More »

WALDO SALT: A SCREENWRITERS JOURNEY

The film follows the circuitous and tumultuous career of Waldo Salt, one of America's finest screenwriters - from glib, talented 23 year old writer of The Shopworn Angel to the washed up, unemployed ... More »

BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES

This film is one of the first comprehensive looks at the student movement of the 1960s as seen from the Berkeley campus. A small student movement becomes a cause celebré when the House Un-American ... More »

CYBERPUNK

Part of the world's population is already 'post-human" - so muses expatriate American writer William Gibson on the impact of his science fiction series which began with the 1982 Neuromancer and ... More »

Getting Ready For Later

This is a striking film about the damaging fears parents transmit to their children. The story is told by a young boy, Sonny, in impressionistic vignettes - three that take place in 1952 and the ... More »

A Broken Horse

One Halloween night, Jank Rottweiller asks his old friend Fred to drive him to his father's house in the country. As miles pass, Jank leaves all reason behind him, dragging Fred along. By the time ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director