TOUCH OF PINK
Opening Night Film
Gala at the 28th San Francisco International
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Thursday, June 17th, 7:30 PM
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
his first feature, Indo-Canadian-British filmmaker and festival favorite
Ian Iqbal Rashid (SURVIVING SABU, STAG) treads on some classic gay film territory.
Alim (Jimi Mistry from THE GURU and EAST IS EAST), an Ismaili Muslim photographer,
is about to have his cosmopolitan life in London with his boyfriend Giles
(Kristen Holden-Reid) upended.
A family wedding is in the offing, and
Mummy (Sulekha Mathew) is coming to town from Toronto. As he desperately
tries to de-gay his life and hold on to his boyfriend, Alim’s only
helper is his imaginary friend, Cary Grant (Kyle MacLachlan). Dashing and
debonair, Grant fits very well in Alim’s closet as friend, philosopher,
and style guide, though his advice about relationships (borrowed liberally
from the plot lines of classics like CHARADE and GUNGA DIN) is a little suspect.
Alim’s mother, Nuru, lives in a world where mothers
want grandchildren, ice sculptures and place cards, where dentist sons can
be trumped only by neurosurgeon daughters-in-law. Alim lives in a world where
a fellow might meet the love of his life at a bar called the Ramrod. What
better venue for the two worlds to come face to face than an over-the-top
Ismaili family wedding?
Nuru may be a drag queen’s delight, with her tart
one-liners and melodramatic “I am just a tattered tissue” laments,
but Rashid invests her with tremendous sympathy. Trapped in a dance of duty
and expectations, but above all, love, Alim and Nuru are both outsiders in
foreign lands trying to fit in, always measuring themselves through someone
With digs at race, colonization, and the eternal brown-person
question (“Where are you from? No, I mean originally?”), TOUCH
OF PINK is about the many identities we juggle every day, not always successfully.
Rashid, himself an immigrant several times over, never loses sight of the
tenuous position of immigrants’ lives, no matter if the bushes in their
gardens are manicured into topiary ducks and swans. The ghost of loss tinges
Alim’s uncle’s voice when he says, “Nothing can touch us
In this year of the gay wedding, this is the film to see
to plan your nuptials – pheasant samosas, anyone? And here’s
a relationship tip straight from Mummy (it works just as well for mango pickle
sandwiches): You butter while I pickle. Cary Grant couldn’t have said
it more succinctly.
– Sandip Roy
TOUCH OF PINK dir Ian Iqbal Rashid 2003 Canada 91 min 35mm
Co-presented by Trikone, 3rd
I South Asian Independent Cinema, EKTA, & Friends
of South Asia