The Reluctant Fundamentalist Venice Review & Press Conference

Posted 11 years ago by myetvmedia

It is precisely because the film overtly asks big and complex questions through the intimate conflicts of its characters that it so successfully rivets you to the screen.  As a result of each of the character’s unwitting prejudice and misunderstanding, the threat of violence is palatable in almost every frame. Changez’s identity crisis reaches its pinnacle when in an unguarded moment he passively explains to Erica, “I don’t recognize my own voice anymore… it sounds tinny and fake”. And when a still grieving Erica who has recently and tragically lost her boyfriend is having some difficulty being intimate with Changez, he exhorts her to “pretend I’m him”, so desperate is his need to belong to her, to his adopted America and his Wall Street job. Bobby too is struggling with his adopted homeland; his motivation as an operative murky, and as it turns out, much more personal than political.

Consistent with her previous efforts and Nair’s dialogue with Bollywood, music plays a key and obvious role in the film’s inspiration and interpretation: a blend of traditional and original titles, including a new song from British rocker Peter Gabriel and Pakistan singer Atif Aslam with lyrics by Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

It will be curious to see how North Americans receive this film. Nair and novelist/screenwriter Mohsid Amid obviously share a deep love of American culture but this film is an attempt to redress an imbalance in the perceptions of the west toward Pakistan and Pakistanis, and to overcome the simplistic sound bites of the newsroom. That Nair succeeds in doing so is a credit to her ability as an artist and filmmaker.

This is a must see film, especially for anyone interested in one of the most compelling issues of the last decade and its impact on future generations.

-Alfredo Romano


Mira Nair’s film awards include:

*New York City – worked on own short films and won Best Documentary prize at the American Film Festival for Indian Cabaret about the investigation of Indian stripper culture.

*1988 Salaam Bombay – feature length film co-written with Sooni Taraporevala focuses on kids struggling on the streets of Bombay.

Won Camera d’Or Cannes

*Monsoon Wedding – (2001) Comedy Drama- international box office hit – arranged marriage in New Dehli.

Won Golden Lion at Venice gave Mira Nair the stamp of an established filmmaker,

Mira Nair was born in India, studied at the University of New Dehli, then Sociology at Harvard University (1976). She lives in New York City.

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Venice Review & Press Conference

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Mira Nair

Kate Hudson

Liev Schreiber


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