Film Detail

West is West

Andy De Emmony / UK / 2009 / 102 min


The much-anticipated follow-up to the pioneering cross-cultural comedy EAST IS EAST, WEST IS WEST is the coming-of-age story not only of a 15-year-old boy, but also his 60-year-old father. In this second installment, we follow the multi-ethnic Khan family from Manchester to rural Pakistan, where patriarch George "Genghis" Khan (played by a luminous Om Puri) attempts to reconnect his cheeky Anglicized youngest son Sajid to his culture, all while facing a past he left behind decades ago. Bullied at school by racists and suffering from the usual teenage angst, Sajid finally rebels by shoplifting, and is promptly arrested. George decides the only recourse to “ fix” his son, and correct his growing self-loathing, is to throw Sajid into the painfully foreign arms of the Punjab. Upon arrival, Sajid naturally hates everything (no electricity, running water or toilets); as time passes, though, he realizes he’ s actually enjoying himself. Mentored by a mercurial Sufi holy man and befriended by a similarly cheeky goat herder, Sajid comes to embrace his own distinctiveness between the two cultures. Meanwhile, George must face the wife and daughters he left behind, and his much-diminished standing in the community. But when wife No. 2, Ella from Manchester, unexpectedly shows up in the village, George is forced to confront the two ends of his existence past and present, English and Pakistani. With generous spirit and honest portrayals, writer Ayub Khan-Din’ s largely autobiographical story will resonate with anyone who has inhabited multiple spheres of identity. “ You can’ t dictate what your children’ s culture is going to be,” Khan-Din writes. “ You have to let them discover that for themselves.” Christine Kwon In Attendance: Aqib Khan (Actor) After the screening check out the Opening Night Gala Reception at the Asian Art Museum


  • Director: Andy De Emmony
  • Executive Producer: Jane Wright, Shaana Levy, Kim Romer
  • Producer: Leslee Udwin
  • Cinematographer: Peter Robertson
  • Writer: Ayub Khan-Din
  • Editor: Jon Gregory, Stephen O’ Connell


Thu 03.10 700pm


Powered by Gala Festival Engine