The Reunion

The Reunion

"The Reunion" is a short film co-produced, co-directed, co-written, and photographed by the Russell Brothers Company and Angad Singh Bhai. It tells a story about two friends who share common background and reunite after several years of  being apart.  One is a Sikh (played by Kunal Shah) who has cut his hair after being brutalized  during a hate crime, and the other (played by Angad Bhai) has kept his hair since birth.   Their dialogue deals with issues Sikhs face when trying to assimilate  into modern American society, while maintaining their cultural and  religious heritage.

Aside from the beautiful video production quality of this film, I love that it was very real and relevant to modern times. Much of the dialog of the characters discussed real issues and questions that might be asked about having the outward identity of a Sikh and standing out vs. not. I love the subtle metaphors of back and forth between the characters as they talk to each other and make their back and forth arguments while also playing chess.  I think this film will also be interested to non-Sikhs as well and serve to create a bit more understanding about a Sikh and our identity. Great job Angad and Russel Brothers! I hope you work on more projects like this which will serve to educate mainstream as well as inspire and support Sikh Youth going through these challenges and questions themselves (Sikh men AND women).    

If the above video doesn’t work or you would like to view a larger version click here to watch directly on vimeo.  

Motivation and Influences
"I thought it might be interesting to mention things that have influenced this film.  A big one is my grandfather (SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji), who always told me "keep up and you will be kept up." Those are words that helped us get through the grueling process of filmmaking with all its mishaps, expenses, and obstacles. They are also words that some of the characters in the film embody.

Another big influence is Dostoevsky’s "Notes from the Underground," which he wrote while freezing in the dungeon of a Siberian work camp. The protagonist longs for friendship but sabotages himself by pretending like he doesn’t need anyone. Strangely, he takes pride in his voluntary alienation so that I didn’t really know what to think of him: he is too pathetic to hate and too willful to pity. "The Reunion" is an attempted answer to the vacuous nihilism that Dostoevsky explores. Authentic friendship is very important in a society that digitizes the self and forces us to traffic in representation, rather than allow us to see and accept one another wholly, flaws and all."  – Angad Bhai

About Angad Bhai
Angad BhaiAngad Singh Bhai is originally from Los Angeles, CA, is a 2008 Cornell University alumnus with a double major in English and Economics.  Upon graduation, Angad moved to NYC in pursuit of a dream.  The Reunion is his breakout film in which he wrote, acted in, and co-directed and produced with the Russel Brothers

Check out the official film website which had details on the "players" of the film, production stillsbehind the scenes footage and more. 

If you want to support Angad you can make a donation which will help him with the costs of making this film and help with his new film Sikh in the City.

  If you liked The Reunion film, and would like to see more projects from the filmmakers, please support them so they can get their next project off the ground ("Sikh in the City"). It’s a web series documenting the everyday experiences, both mundane and strange, of an American born Sikh who lives in New York City. Filming in NYC is expensive, so they need all the support they can get.



12 Responses to “The Reunion”

  1. Jasbeer Singh says:

    Media is a good resource to spread knowledge and information about Sikhism whether its in India or abroad. I've seen and experienced that people prefered to watch Serials , documentaries and films about anything..but when its comes to reading a book on a religion or anything.. they don't have time. Few hours documentary or a film can spread a "message" to millions. So my dear Brothers..Keep it up!!!

  2. Jaskeerat Singh says:

    Great Story!

  3. JP Singh says:

    Great story but fail to understand what the underlying message is. With the way this ended, it seems the message is "Friends got to stick together" and "it's okay to cut the hair under pressure"

    • amit singh says:

      sikhi is deeper than hair. its about love and not abandoning people who stray fro the path. stay with them as they grow

      • JP Singh says:

        You are absolutely correct Amit Singh, Sikhi is NOT ONLY deeper than hair BUT also it starts from hair.

        The logic behind the statement above is that Sikhi is earned throughout the life by overcoming the challenges, both internal (such as lust for e.g. as mentioned in the movie like sleeping with a white girl, and such) and external (such as standing in millions and having courage to stand out) while holding on the the faith), whereas hair are given to us from birth by Waheguru.

      • JP Singh says:

        Simply put, "One goes against Guru by cutting it – It is simple and straight forward". All the folks that will go against Guru’s orders will conveniently come up with the arguments as in this movie.

        I agree with your statement that we have to stay with the Sikhs that become ManMukhs Sikhs (by following the will of their own mind) instead of living as GurSikhs (or by using the will and mind of Guru Saab) and guide them to come back.

        If a Munmukh has made a determination to not become a GurSikh again, then just treat them like any other friend (as you would treat a Christian/Hindu/Muslim) but DON’T agree/ support/ encourage his decision to against your guru. Yes, there is no room for passing judgments among friends, hence just keep Sikhi related questions out of the conversations with such friends.

        Bhull Chukk Maffi jio!

        • Balvinder Singh says:

          JP Singh

          I like that you interpret this movie as being about not abandoning your friends, but I don't agree with your interpretations of manmukh and gurmukh. I think you can be a Gurmukh and still cut your hair. As long as you are following the light and wisdom within and the Guru Granth Sahib.

          You can have long hair but if you follow your lower self your a manmukh.

          I cut my hair, but I am a Gurmukh

          Balvinder Singh

          • Mohan Singh says:

            Dear brother I can believe that you r a gurmukh, but you ask yourself do you really believe that you are a gursikh, just follow your innerself. that will answer you what you are, to become a gurmukh ,we donot only need outer identity but also some thing more for guru ji, that's love when you follow the world you automatically turn your back away from Guru Ji, you are not ready to put on the stamp of guru ji on yourself and want to claim that I have accepted what guru ji said. You are still following what your mind says to from the experience of the outer world. Don't you think those who cut their hair always think that they look more smarter and handsome that those who keep hairs intact on their body. The basic thing is that you people with shaving your hairs are joining those who know nothing about our great gurus. You are casting vote for those who out of sheer ignorance make so many derogatory remarks about Sikhs to make them feel demoralized all the times. Isn't it true that you don't like hairs on your face and head. Then how can you Admire the real look of our ten Gurus, saints and the Sikhs who keep hairs. You people are creating an atmosphere where Sikhs with hairs shall keep on feeling embarrassed all the times.You have joined the opposite forces to demoralize the bearded ones. You always try to find the idealism of Sikhi from among the bearded ones when you can enjoy everything of this glamour world. They too can fall and do wrong things. Instead of joining those who still fear God and has some love for guru ji, you are trying to spending all your energy to downgrade them that the bearded ones are arrogant. It becomes very difficult for bearded ones to go along with those who have changed their identity. When after changing identity we liberal to do whatever we like, what has a sikh to do with you who is always looking for sat sangat. You are decreasing the number of sat sangis. How can they love you.

          • JP Singh says:

            Dear Balvinder Singh,

            in addition to following the light and wisdom within Guru Granth Sahib, you have to follow what all the guru's have said about outwards and inwards living of a GurSikh. It is called Rehet (the way to live). Granted, that the modern rehet is not written by Gurus but yet, one thing that you will agree with is, that Guru Gobind Singh ji has stated the required rehet of a Sikh.

            Now, anyone can go ahead and argue that Guru Gobind's Sikh is separate than Guru Granth Sahib's sikh and justify their own actions (opposite to what Guru's hukum is), but the philosophy is the consistent from Guru Nanak dev ji to Guru Granth Sahib ji.

            Please go ahead and consider whatever you want to, but honestly, look through Guru's criteria (not only Guru Granth Sahib but all the guru's), and you will find out what you are. I am no one to judge you, but your guru will. It is up to you if you want to listen to him or not.

            Guru Ang sang
            JP Singh

  4. Mai Harinder Kaur says:

    An excellent film. I do have one question, though. Why is the "sabat surat" Sikh not wearing a kara? Every Sikh I know wears one, even the ones who cut and shave.

  5. Balvinder Singh says:

    I have to say, I really liked this, at first I didn't like where it was going; another movie focused on the external, about hair. I was preparing my self with a one sided argument and bias justification. However it presented some great arguments, especially about the hypocrisy of sikh communities turning away from sikhs who cut their hair.

    the final scene sums it up for me: all types of sikhs, standing together, brothers, equal, all on our own journey, looking to the future. Not alone

  6. rajini says:

    I am not a sikh , but thought this was a truly beautiful movie .Its not so much about whether you decide to keep your hair or not ,or what other decisions we make , but rather a look into why and how we make them . Community , friendship , loneliness, security , comfort , fear , love, hate … all the paradoxes of being human .
    Message ? What message does beauty have ?
    Thank you Angad Bhai