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"blending activism and filmmaking"





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
Festival Details

In 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 else’s eyes.

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 now.”

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

Copyright. EKTA. All Rights Reserved. 2000-2004