Ocean of Pearls

Back in 2002-03 I remember getting an email from Dr. Sarab Neelam, who wanted to share a documentary on Sikhi that he had made. He wanted me to freely post it on SikhNet and make it available so people could learn more about Sikhi (particularly westerners). Later on after we posted it on SikhNet he told me about his grand vision of making a major motion picture with a Sikh in a lead role. Whenever we spoke he would always talk to me about the need to have Sikhs in films, and how we rarely see Sikhs in any lead movie role. Most of the roles we see Sikhs take in films are based on stereotypes:

  • 1) Taxi Cab Driver (American Film)
  • 2) Silly/Joker Role (Indian Films)
  • 3) Cultural setting with international crowd (The Sikh floating around in the background).

How often do we see a Sikh in any kind of major role? Not often. The last ones I can remember were of Waris Ahluwalia doing a part in a few films (The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Inside Man). There might be more, but you can probably count them on one hand; and most I have seen are minor roles.

Anways, I always thought this was going to be a tough job to do since it would require quite a bit of time, money, commitment and dedication. Over the years he would remind me of his plans and I wondered if he would be able to carry it out.

For the past few years he has been working on making his idea a reality. I’ve heard little tid-bits here and there about the film, as they did casting calls for actors and also my friend Snatam Kaur telling me about doing some recordings specifically for the film sound track, so it seemed to be moving along!

I just realized that the film was released recently (May?), but since I don’t live in any major city I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. However, in the mean time I was able to watch the movie trailer and it looked intriguing and professionally done. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to watch the full film and see how "Amrit Singh" deals with being a Sikh, as the Chief of Surgery, and the lesson he learns.Here is a short synopsis of the film:

As a Sikh man with a full beard and turban, AMRIT SINGH is often the target of racial profiling. But when he sees his dreams of becoming Chief of Surgery at a state-of-the-art transplant center dwindle because of his appearance, Amrit goes against a tradition he’s maintained his whole life and cuts his hair. Hiding this decision from his girlfriend and family in Toronto is only the start of a series of compromises Amrit finds himself making as he deals with hospital politics and health care injustices. When his compromises result in the death of a patient, Amrit begins to reexamine the value of the religious traditions he’d turned his back on."

You can learn more about the film at: http://oceanofpearls.com or watch the film trailer below.

20 Responses to “Ocean of Pearls”

  1. Jasmeet Bansal says:

    This looks amazing. Can’t wait to see it.

  2. Jaspreet Sidhu says:

    I saw this film at a Film festival in Toronto, and Dr. Sarab Neelam was there as well.   I was extremely impressed with the film.  It was quite moving and the entire audience gave it a standing ovation.  I would recommend it not only to sikhs but everyone because it is wonderful film with a great message.

    Dr. Sarab Neelam explained how this movie was a 10 year journey and I congratulate him on his dedication and this remarkable movie.  Great Job!
    Hope everyone gets a chance to see it.

  3. Dev says:

    When will this amazing film be out on DVD for those of us who cannot watch this film at one of these sites.

  4. satvinder says:

    It’s a really moving trailer.


    I just watched the trailer of the movie… it ‘s…. hmm amazing and can’t wait to see it.
    I don’t know if this will come out in India but would love to hear from some one if they can send me a dvd for it.
    This will be a great inspiration on the lost punjabi youth who do anything for money and give up all they are and were born into.
    well….. chardikala

  6. Just watched the trailer can’t wait to see the film. OMG Its the guy from Ghost Whisperer, CSI and Heroes, Omid Abtahi (..lol..if anyone watched Ghost Whisperer, CSI or Heroes)..loll
    Will the film come out in England by any chance ??
    Also if anyone remembers the film Kambdi Kalai? I stil haven’t seen that and really want to watch it. Cant get hold of it anywhere in UK (been to Southall aswell) and couldn’t get hold of it. Any ideas??

    • OceanOfPear says:

      This Movie is coming in theatres (april 2011) Hold down to your seats. it will be in Punjabi and English.

  7. shanu kaur says:

    I remember seeing one of the bibia at park avenue, sri guru singh sabha gurudwara, southall seeling kambdi kalai at the stall on a sunday. Go there and ask her! I’m sure she’ll know where you can get it :)

  8. tim bhullar says:

    a fantastic trailer and would like to see how we can see the full version.

  9. Bimeldip Kaur says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,     Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.     I am Bimeldip Kaur, a 23 year old  Malaysian Sikh. I stumbled upon the trailer of this movie by accident and was completely amazed. I then sought out to find the movie online hoping against hope some kind soul must’ve uploaded it somewhere.     However, after many days spent searching through sites after sites after sites, I came to a conclusion it was never meant to be.I write this comment in hopes that someone would give

  10. Gursewak says:

    A major breakthrough providing a face to the Sikh community in mainstream cinema. The website should also state screenings beyond July 08 in the US and an international release date.

  11. Amrit says:

    Does anyone know where the movie can be purchased?


  12. justanothernobody says:

    The movie looks cool but I don’t understand that he has his beard cut, but is making a big deal about cutting his hair? It’s the same thing. Can someone explain that?

  13. raveena says:

    i don’t think his beard is meant to look cut.

  14. also nobody says:

    i agree with justanothernobody…………..

  15. Mackie Gill says:

    Can’t really wait to watch this movie… can somebody tell me when would be OCEAN OF PEARLS releasing ??

  16. Gagan Rajput says:

    Regardless of the fact what they should have done, i appreciate what they have tried to do. All people like us can just sit back and comment about what is wrong and what is right, for god sake if someone takes a step forward, just encourage and appreciate them. They are far better than people like me and you, at least they are doing something for our community. .

    I have been waiting for its official release in London and has been in touch with its sales director as well, and i am still waiting to see this movie.


  17. Kelli says:

    I have just read all the above comments and am glad that I am not the only person desperately trying to get a hold of this film! I too watched to trailers and am now waiting in anticipation for something – anything – to be available for us poor souls in London! If anyone has ANY news about its release in London I beg you – please, please, please let me/us know!
    As stated above, I too agree that it is fantastic to have Sikhism portrayed in mainstream films.

  18. Young Sikh Boy says:

    When will the DVD be available … Its a shame that such a movie is there and there is no way we can get hold of it.(India)

    I feel Dr Neelam might have his reasons for targeting a sale of 100,000 DVDs but such a film should be made available freely online so that the message is spread widely.I feel he should target a million online hits/views of the movie instead… get the movie popular and then from next movie pursue his film making dreams.

    I've been to europe several times and for months, i've not faced such issues so far… i just wish i dont have to in future as well….turban is not just a religious symbol for me and it should not be for any other sikh boy or girl…. instead, turban and hair are my identity and its sole purpose is to distinguish us from the rest.(us here are those fearless people(sikhs) who follow the way of life guided by gurus and who refute to get along any wrong doings)

    So if we get that attention, those looks… the purpose of Turban is fulfilled…. we STAND OUT.

    If there can be any kind of Racism associated with sikhs… it will be 'Reverse Racism' as we are choose to STAND OUT… we choose to follow the path shown by gurus and that my friends is the most refined and practical way of life, followed in no other religions in this world… and that also tells us to respect all.

    Again coming to the point… I dont need a film to tell me what sikhs are facing on foreign lands and what can happen if i go the other way( the way amrit choose)…i know what my path is…but still i will like to watch this film to settle my curiosity…. so please share any links you have of the film.

  19. Gopi says:

    I really want to watch this movie….Please if anyone have a link for watching this movie online then please go ahead…Its actually a moral giving movie.