15 November 2012 7:19 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The afterschool special is alive and well in immigration drama “Festival Of Lights,” an amateurish independent film tracking the evolution of one family in their path from Guyana to America, and the roots they leave behind. Forgive a generation of filmmakers, well-intentioned, but unaware that nuance and subtlety are missing from their arsenal, soldiering on with incidence. “Festival Of Lights” is nothing if not busy, hop-scotching around hot-button satellite issues to the main concern of immigration like Darren Aronofsky’s camera operator lost in the K-hole. “Festival Of Light” follows young Reshna (Melinda Shankar) from her childhood in Guyana to her teenage lifestyle in America. As a child, her father Vishnu (Jimi Mistry) would take her to the Diwali festival, as they enjoyed the street fair as a family despite a hostile atmosphere that threatens their livelihood. A frantic home invasion by guerillas occurs just next door: Reshna’s »

- Gabe Toro

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