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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.

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