"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).
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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 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.
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.