December 30, 2009

My movie reopens old wounds: Nikhil Advani

Director Nikhil Advani says his next movie "Patiala House", about cross-generation cultural assimilation among the Sikh community in Britain, is partially based on the infamous Southall racial riots of 1979 and is like reopening old wounds.

Advani shot a few scenes in the much-revered Southall Gurdwara of London. Cameras are not usually allowed there, but once the Southall Gurdwara committees heard the idea behind the film and that Rishi Kapoor and Akshay Kumar would feature in it, they were all for the project.

"They just threw open the doors of the Gurdwara and offered to help in every way to make 'Patiala House' authentic. Many of the Sikh elders at the Gurdwara had lived through the infamous Southall racial riots of 1979 where my film is partially set," Advani, who made it big in filmdom with "Kal Ho Naa Ho" (2003), said.

"When I narrated my theme to them, they had tears in their eyes. 'Patiala House' is like old wounds being re-opened for them. But it's a story that must be told."

But at heart, says Advani, "Patiala House" is a father-son story.

"Like 'Billy Eliott' where the father is a coal miner but the son wants to be a dancer. In my film, Rishi Kapoor feels his dreams as a Sikh immigrant in England are being destroyed by his son. But the son Akshay Kumar has his own dreams to pursue."

Read more from HERE