TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘The World is Family

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 16, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘The World is Family

In The World is Family, Indian director Anand Patwardhan visits what was his ancestral home that happens to be in Karachi. That place is now a hospital, full of doctors who welcome him and his group of peaceful visitors with open arms. That site is just one piece of his personal history, one that he captures in this new documentary. The project started out as one about his parents, documenting their stories as his father gets a speech impediment. He comes from a family of activists and artists who were active during the movement to free India from British rule. The film covers almost a century. Within that time period, his parents witnessed India turn from a multireligious project to a country with religious violence.

The World is Family may tread familiar ground, but what makes it great are its interviewees. Patwardhan doesn’t just focus on his parents. He also interviews people within that generation. These interviewees don’t just have insight on historical events that the Indian school system doesn’t teach. They also have insight on kindness, especially the lack of it they experienced for decades. The documentary also beautifully weaves the raw images of his country. The documentary starts out in 1999, then flashes back to the 1940s and then flashes forward to 2019. Sadly, far right groups rule India, trying to control Patwardhan’s peaceful message. Censorship is a reality in India, but there’s hope that his message touches a young generation that can unlearn past prejudices.

ph. TIFF

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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