Filmmaker in Person
Deeply moving and smart, Arshad Khan’s outstanding documentary is a quintessential immigrant story that captures the tumultuous journey of his family’s move to Canada, from Pakistan, in the early 90s. These were Arshad’s teenage years, made all the more confusing by his budding queer sexuality. While the Khans had always struck a balance between traditional and modern values, this was where they drew the line.
Arshad poignantly recalls the balancing act, managing his family’s expectations with his own hopes and dreams. His once-liberal parents had traded assimilation for fundamentalism, moving towards a conservative strain of Islam, while Arshad was becoming deeply involved in the cultural and political fabric of his new home. Peppered with animations, snippets from Bollywood, and a treasure trove of home movie footage, Abu offers a complex and nuanced portrait of a family trying to hold on to one another in spite of all the challenges.