Pietermaritzburg is where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of his incorrect colouring, ultimately the seed of his passive resistance movement that later liberated India from colonial rule. Pietermaritzburg is also the capital of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the kingdom of the Zulus, well known for their skilled warrior and conqueror history. In this sleepy hollow, there is a large community of Indian descendents. They are South Africans for more than 4 generations; they have a nationalist identity that is in harmony with a strong ethnicity and loyalty to Indian tradition and culture.
Home Sweet Home is a story of a family of Indian descent ensconced in Pietermaritzburg. As we track the Gosai family over a life-changing weekend, we are privy to the roles they play versus who they really are beyond the mask. Themes of loyalty, betrayal, conforming to tradition, rebellion, love, disappointment and exploring oneself fully within the constraints of a community code are explored in each of the protagonists lives, moving through an ambit of adultery, domestic violence and coming to terms with one's sexual preference.
Development – Script Complete
Location: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Production: October 2013
Writer/Director: Shalin Sirkar
It's 1948, India is newly independent, Kenya will follow shortly, but not until after a revolution. Kenyan born, Peter Kabaku, inspired by Gandhian passive resistance is deployed in India to build Afro-Asian relations. Expecting enthusiasm from the locals, he is met with a new wave of elitism amongst the newly appointed bureaucrats. Amidst coming to terms with an idealism that the world is not ready for, he also must deal with the repercussions of falling in love with an Indian woman.
Based on the book, Distances by renowned Vernacular Novelist and Economist, Prof Bhabani Sen Gupta, New Delhi.
Status: Script Development
Location: Nairobi, New Delhi, London
Producers: Shalin Sirkar
Cast: Hakeem Kae Kazim
Production: November 2010
This film follows the life of Husen, a child soldier who fought in WW1 for Germany in Tanzania. He returns to Berlin to claim his compensation and he begins working as a waiter. During this time, he becomes a successful star in Nazi propaganda films while embroiled in a legal battle over his compensation.
Location: Berlin, Tanzania
Research: Paulette Reed-Anderson, Centre for African Diaspora Studies in Germany (CADRIG)