162 user 81 critic

East Is East (1999)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 2 June 2000 (USA)
In early 1970s England, a Pakistani father finds the authority he has previously maintained challenged by his increasingly Anglicized children.



(play), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jordan Routledge ...
Meenah Khan
Emil Marwa ...
Ian Aspinall ...
Nazir Khan
Emma Rydal ...
Stella Moorhouse
Ben Keaton ...
Kriss Dosanjh ...
Poppa Khalid
John Bardon ...
Mr. Moorhouse


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 (UK) (7 November 1999)


$4,170,647 (USA) (10 September 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This caused some controversy when it was released in the US as Miramax deliberately obscured the fact that it featured Asian characters in its marketing approach. Nevertheless the film was a solid hit in the States, grossing over $4 million, a very high figure for a low budget British film. See more »


When the family enter Bradford they run over speed bumps which wouldn't be around in the 1970s. See more »


[Saleem accidentally drops a fake vagina on Mrs. Shah's lap]
Mrs. Shah: This is an insult to me and my family! I will never allow my daughters to marry into this jungly family of half-breeds!
Ella Khan: Well, they may be half-bred, but at least they're not friggin' inbred like them two monstrosities.
George Khan: Ella!
Ella Khan: Never mind "Ella". Who the frig do you think you are? You come in here, telling me that my house isn't good enough for your daughters? Well, your daughters aren't good enough for my sons, or my house, and if I hear...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features Professor (1962) See more »


Inhee logo ne
from "Pakeezah" (1971)
Licensed courtesy of The Grammophone Company of India Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Good attempt but falls between the stools of comedy and drama
27 September 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

East is East is a good example of British comedy drama. Set in the north of England in the 1970's it is the story of an mixed race Asian family living in a mainly white community. However the film doesn't really tackle the conflict between the races but rather the conflict within the family itself

  • both the clash of the cultures between the white mother and Asian father,
and the children resisting the traditional culture of their father.

The film rises easily above TV sitcom/drama to be of film standard in every sense. The director captures the size of the house and the community well. The acting is good - especially Om Puri as the father. The film builds the picture of an eastern family mixing with the western culture well - with comedy scenes used as well as more dramatic scenes used to show this.

If you enjoy this style of domestic humour, you'll love this (especially the scenes where the family are all together - check out the youngest who is a very British indeed and reminds me of Kenny from South Park!). But don't be fooled into thinking that this is a crude toilet-humour style comedy (like the marketing suggests) it is much more than that. Also if you have a father who wanted his children to be raised a specific way (not necessarily Asian) then you'll get much of the drama between father and children.

My only problem with this is that the characters sometimes seem to be caricatures, and the plotting is sometimes a bit ropey with so many things to fit in.

Is it realistic of the experience of british Muslims at the time? Probably not but it's funny, moving and thought-provoking in equal measure.

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