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Guiana 1838 (2004)

The abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean in 1834 prompts Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Company in Calcutta, a part of the East India Company, to recruit Coolies from India to fill the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Aasheekaa Bathija ... (as Aarti Bathija)
Thomas Garvey
... Laxman
Rufus Graham
... Dhaniram
Kiran Pande
Amit Patel
Henry Rodney
... Lallu
Shalini Singh ... Chameli
Kern Wasan ... Jagru
Neville Williams
Kenn Woodard ... Thomas
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Storyline

The abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean in 1834 prompts Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Company in Calcutta, a part of the East India Company, to recruit Coolies from India to fill the resulting labor void. The company hires Sinha, a fierce small-timer to sell dreams of El Dorado to the unsuspecting, impoverished Coolies who are signed to five-year contracts as indentured servants. Upon the Coolies' arrival in British Guiana in 1838, the British planters promptly enslave them to ensure that the growth of sugar in the British West Indies will continue uninterrupted. John Scoble of the British and Foreign Anti Slavery Society arrives on the colony a year later to discover a new form of slavery; this time on the backs of Indians. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

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Release Date:

24 September 2004 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,910, 26 September 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$227,241
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User Reviews

 
interesting...
14 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Guiana 1838 tells the story of East Indian immigrants who were brought to the British West Indies to save a faltering sugar industry after the emancipation of slavery. The film presents the social issues which the immigrants encountered, among these are the relationships with white planters and African slaves. The writers have crafted the film in such a way that it supports the theory that East Indian immigration was indeed "A New System of Slavery." I applaud the film for making the Caribbean experience the subject of the drama and going beyond using the Caribbean landscape as a backdrop for some romantic escapade (this has been the case too often of films about the Caribbean). However, I left the cinema without the catharsis which, with a little more work, this drama could have achieved. This, I attribute to the lack of character development of the key East Indian migrants in the film. Some more details and visuals on the lives of the individuals before coming to Guiana would have helped the audience to identify more with the characters.

If you like historical drama and interested in the story of dispossessed peoples ...check it out.


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