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 ... See full summary »
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. Written by
I saw this movie tonight at the Reel World Film Festival in Toronto, expecting another one of those immigrant culture clash cultural pieces in line with the Bollywood-Hollywood/Bhaji on the Beach types that contain poorly developed characters, bad acting, loud political messages and contrived and simplistic plot lines. The fact that it was helmed by a first time director with no previous film experience did not help me in formulating my preconception. Boy was I wrong! Ocean of Pearls is a moving and ultimately redeeming spiritual voyage that intelligently touched upon such topics as faith, assimilation, materialism, family and HMOs in modern secular America, while telling the story of a young Sikh-Canadian doctor who loses his faith in his religion and profession when taking on new job at a private Detroit hospital. Its not as profound (or heady) as an Ingmar Bergman film (and is not intended to be), but for a family drama it carries great weight and is a refreshingly honest portrayal of South Asians in North America.
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