Amu, the explosive, nerve touching and yet endearing film by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Shonali Bose is finally scheduled for release across North America with a five theatre release in Toronto on February 16.
Written and directed by Bose, this critically acclaimed film, which was released in India more than two years ago, has caught the attention of not only the media but also such popular filmmakers like Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta.
A film festival favourite for two years, Amu has been garnering good reviews, winning top national awards and enjoying a good run in multiplexes in metros. It has also been shown in many American and Canadian campuses, apart from prestigious film festivals in Berlin and Toronto.
Amu is the journey of Kajori Roy, a 21-year-old Indian American woman who has lived in the US since the age of three. After graduating from UCLA Kajori goes to India to visit her relatives. There she meets Kabir, a college student from an upper class family who is disdainful of Kajori's wide-eyed wonder at discovering the 'real India'.
Kajori is struck with a sense of déjà vu when she visits the slums, crowded markets and roadside cafes of Delhi. Soon after she starts having nightmares. Kabir gets drawn into the mystery of why this is happening particularly when he discovers that she is adopted.
Meanwhile Kajori's adoptive mother, Keya, a single parent and civil rights activist in LA, arrives unannounced in Delhi. She is shocked to discover that Kajori has been visiting the slums. The daughter mistakes her mother's response to over protectiveness. But Keya's fears are based in another reality.
Together, Kajori and Kabir get to the bottom of her adoptive parents' deception and lies regarding her birth and their involvement in a tragedy that took part 20 years ago in the capital (the massacre of Sikhs in New Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984).
In a searing climax, the young people are forced to confront the reality of the past and how it affects the present.
Now with the film all set for release in North America, the buzz about the film has started to gain momentum.
One of the first reviews of the film which appeared in the influential trade publication, Hollywood Reporter termed the film as, 'a first rate detective story which boldly rips away a tapestry of lies and cover ups.'
Mira Nair called the it 'a must see film which surprises you at every turn.'
And Mehta, not a stranger to controversies 'absolutely' loves the film. 'A thoughtful and important film with a universal theme,' she added.
'A bold and heartrending film, extremely well made and deeply moving. It's an important film as it is very relevant to our times,' Aamir Khan had said of the film.
With the tagline When the Past Lives in the Present, the film will be showing at Cineplex Carlton, Toronto; AMC Kennedy Commons, Scarborough; Empire Square One, Mississauga; Empire Empress Walk, North York; Rainbow Woodbine, Etobicoke.