163 user 81 critic

East Is East (1999)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 2 June 2000 (USA)
1:25 | Trailer

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In early 1970s England, a Pakistani father finds the authority he has previously maintained challenged by his increasingly Anglicized children.



(play), (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jordan Routledge ...
Emil Marwa ...
Raji James ...
Ian Aspinall ...
Nazir Khan
Emma Rydal ...
Ben Keaton ...
Kriss Dosanjh ...
Poppa Khalid


In 1971 Salford fish-and-chip shop owner George Khan expects his family to follow his strict Pakistani Muslim ways. But his children, with an English mother and having been born and brought up in Britain, increasingly see themselves as British and start to reject their father's rules on dress, food, religion, and living in general. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy with attitude about finding your way in a home with no latitude. See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 June 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Kelet az Kelet  »


Box Office


£1,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£435,627 (United Kingdom), 7 November 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,569, 16 April 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,170,647, 10 September 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


All of the actors portraying George's children were born in England and found it easy to relate to their character's feelings of being brought up to be British while being expected to maintain their family's cultural values and beliefs. See more »


Terraced housing in Salford would have had sash windows back in 1971/2. Only one house had them in the shots. See more »


[Moorhouse and Earnest are distributing leaflets of Enoch Powell as George passes by]
Mr. Moorhouse: 'Ere, look, see? There's one of'em now. Got his bags packed for his way home, heh.
Earnest Moorhouse: [Respectfully] Salam Alekom, Mr. Khan.
Mr. Moorhouse: [Slaps Earnest over the head] Shut up, you little bastard!
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... and all the residents of Openshaw. See more »


References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »


Strange Kind of Woman
Written by Jon Lord (as Lord), Ritchie Blackmore (as Blackmore), Ian Gillan (as Gillan),
Roger Glover (as Glover) and Ian Paice (as Paice)
Used by permission of B. Feldman/Hec Music
Performed by Deep Purple
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A different side of England
15 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

I wish there were more movies about the different cultures in the UK. Not just the Anglo, but the Asian and West Indian perspectives. Even the Southeast Asian view. The Middle Easterners have shown great strides with movies like "Bend It Like Beckham" and a few others. This movie got away from me until recently. I saw in the library video section and decided to check it out. The box is very misleading. They put a young interracial couple, front and center on the cover when actually their subplot is very peripheral to the story. I guess the movie studio figured they'd get a wider audience interested with younger faces on the cover since the main characters look to be in their 50s.

George Khan (Om Puri) has left his native Pakistan to live in the UK with its soveriegnty ties. Though he has a wife back in his homeland (she is only mentioned, not seen), he marries a white Englishwoman, Ella (Lynda Bassett). They have 7 kids: 6 boys and 1 girl. Flash forward to the late 60s (where the movie actually begins) and we see his kids are truly English in behavior though he stresses that they must go to Mosque to study and worship. His oldest is to be wed in an arranged marriage to a woman he hardly knows. He runs out in the middle of the ceremony in fear, embarrassing his family especially his father who disowns him. This sets the tone of the movie. His kids are English-born and want to live like their friends in their working-class neighborhood but George wants to raise them as traditional Muslims, despite opposition from his wife, Ella, who only wants the kids to be happy. She tries to help them avoid run-ins with their father who despite his cheerfulness is quite an ogre when angered. The kids range in attitude and indifference toward George's attempts to introduce them to the traditional ways.

This is a decent introduction to immigrant life in the UK especially since it's set during a time when there was political strife over immigration of non-whites into Britain. Though it's an effective comedy, it also touches on the frustration immigrants of any culture go through to hold onto or reject their identity. The only thing marring this movie is a domestic violence scene that may bother some. Still a very good movie worth seeing.

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