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A Cultural Analysis of - East Is East - Movie Review

Autor:   •  February 22, 2012  •  Book/Movie Report  •  3,529 Words (15 Pages)  •  1,509 Views

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A Cultural Analysis of "East is East"

By: Joseph Soegandhi

Movie Overview:

Directed by Damien O'Donnell and written by Ayub-Khan Din, the movie East is East was released on 5th November 1999. The story takes place in Salford, Lancashire in 1971 where it depicts the troubles and conflicts experienced by a household of mixed-ethnicities. The underlying cause is attributed to the differences in beliefs' of the father, mother, and their children as to how they are to be raised. The father in this story is depicted as a Pakistani-Muslim national named George Khan where as the mother is a British woman with an Irish-Catholic background called Ella Khan.

Married together for 25 years, the couple was able to raise a family of 7 children, composing of 6 sons and 1 daughter. Having emigrated from Pakistan and leaving behind his first wife whom he was still married to, the father and protagonist of the story started and opened a fish & chips store as a mean of improving his quality of life. It was the responsibility of all the family members in ensuring a smooth running of its day-to-day operations.


The movie initially starts off by introducing the first conflict the family was about to experience through an arranged marriage of his first and eldest son, Nazir Nigel Khan to a Pakistani girl. Nazir however, was unable to go through with the marriage and during the marriage ceremony chose to run away. Unaware that his son was a homosexual and as such unable to proceed with the marriage, George ultimately came to the decision to disown his son, referring to him when others would ask as dead.

Another conflict experienced in the portrayal of the movie was the circumcision of his youngest son Sajid. Sajid was mocked by a group of Muslim boys upon urinating in a public bathroom after an Islamic lesson class. Unaware that his youngest child Sajid was improperly circumcised at birth, George immediately rushed his youngest son to the hospital, even beating him in the process as he voiced out his fears. This scene acted in my opinion, as an introduction to the strains and conflicts the family is currently experiencing as well as portraying Ella's inability to stand up to her husband. This was attributed in my opinion due to George's constant referrals to his first wife, although never introduced in the movie, he would remind Ella constantly of how his proper Muslim wife listens, respects, and follows all his orders.

The conflict is further portrayed by the actions of his children in eating pork when George was at work. This scene depicted the conflicting interests of his children and George. The divide within the family between Ella and the children and George in the other side is exemplified through Ella keeping George away


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