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Sikh News Ocean of Pearls

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by BhagatSingh, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Synopsis: As a Sikh man with a full beard and turban, AMRIT SINGH is often the target of racial profiling. But when he sees his dreams of becoming Chief of Surgery at a state-of-the-art transplant center dwindle because of his appearance, Amrit goes against a tradition he's maintained his whole life and cuts his hair. Hiding this decision from his girlfriend and family in Toronto is only the start of a series of compromises Amrit finds himself making as he deals with hospital politics and health care injustices. When his compromises result in the death of a patient, Amrit begins to reexamine the value of the religious traditions he'd turned his back on.


    "The Guru is the Ocean, filled with pearls." -SGGS
    Here's the trailer: Ocean of Pearls - Movie Trailer


    Anyone seen this film? Care to share your thoughts, reviews?


    I haven't seen it, I want to know where I can get the DVD from.

    We need to support films like these, that have to do with issues relating to SIKHS.
     
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  3. eropa234

    eropa234
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    Dear Bhagat Singhji,

    Interesting situation, In my openion Amrit should have examined the values before he made the decission of keeping his hair and wearing a turban. One cannot become a person of value just because he has long hair and a turban. Its foolish to expect form a socity to change itself because there are people in it that have long hair and turbans.

    Process of reexamination can quit often leaves a person angry.
    Inder P Singh
     
  4. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    I haven't seen it. Do you know where I can get a copy?
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    The dvd should be out by now. The release according to my google search was March 2008. But I can't find a place where it can be purchased online -- just discussions of the dvd on fan sites. Anyway search on google and you may have more patience than I had looking for it.

    Tried to help. Sorry.
     
  6. Notay

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    The trailer looks amazing I would also like to know where to purcahse the dvd but have found no luck.

    the question i want to ask is, if cutting the hair on his head was hard for him to do then why in the film did he have a trimmed beard? why cant they show sikhs as they trully are (or supposed to be) with their full hair!
     
  7. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    you know what? that bothered me too. But I think they were trying to show a younger sikh, who has a full beard.
    Like for example, if someone 25 were to play me (19) in a movie. He would have to shave his cheeks and trim his beard short to make it look like my full beard.
    But in the movie, they don't seem to have done a good job with making it look real.

    If that's not the case then like you asked," why cant they show sikhs as they trully are (or supposed to be) with their full hair!"
     
  8. JimRinX

    JimRinX
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    You may feel comforted that seeing this Good Man being forced to make such a compromise, makes me very ashamed to live in - let alone to have been born into a Military family of, and then served in The Army myself of - a Land that I was raised to believe was, "The Land of The Free, The Home of The Brave."
    Every Day; like today, for example, when I learned that my Account on a Community Blog was shut off, due to my Critcism of a Christian Rally, in which Violent Video Games were one of the centers of Attraction; I see these Values - which I have always Cherished so Deeply - being eroded further and further, by these FOOLISH who Arm-Chair Generals who want to (pardon my quoting THEIR Racist Slur), "Kill the Towel Heads for Jesus."
    But then, my DISGUST over what we Europeans (the Post Columbians, at least; as there is MUCH Evidence of Friendly Trade between The Celts and the Olmecs, in 'Meso-America' going back 1000's of Years before 'Jesus') did to The Native Americans ('The Devil People' they called them) has gotten me made an 'Honorary Native American' myself!
    Please don't feel too bad if these Creeps pressure you into giving up the Customs that you Embrace; it's is their fault, their 'sin' - and not yours.
    I've always felt the irresistable compulsion to wear my own Hair Long; though - even today, so long after the '60's' White Guys like myself still get comments about, "Is that a Woman, or a Man", etc., etc.. But then it is my Absolute Dedication to MY OWN TRUE SELF (like: my 25 year long battle against The Racist Ku Klux Klan) AND BELIEFS, that cost me my Home (though I'm Physically Challenged!), that led to my Social Security Disability being paid out to me for the wrong reason (I'm now "Mentally Ill' according to THEM), and- quite possibly - that led to The Setting-Up and, eventually, The Murder of someone (a Jewish Gal Pal) who was once a Good Friend of mine.
    Always Remember: we have Good Jewish Lawyers in The A.C.L.U. - and, in my Case - an Asst. District Attorney as well, who are as Dedicated To Peace, Justice, and Freedom as I am; so - as we say in The West - perhaps this is merely "The Darkest Hour before the Dawn."
    I look forward to watching "Ocean of Pearls" - with a box of 'Not-Kleenex' by my side.
    By the way, if you want to know why I say 'Not Kleenex' you should all GoTo the YouTube site and watch Greepeaces' "Stop Iron*E" Video Animation; it's about The Wall*E robot - of Disney/Pixar Fame - meeting The Iron*E Robot, which eats up Forrests and spits out - Guess What?
    Keep Growing that Hair, and know that at least One American White Guy sees a Good Sihk - or a Good Muslim, for that matter (depending on the style of Head-Gear) - and not an, "Evil Enemy to be Despised and Killed", when I pass you on the street!!!:)
     
  9. Sikh News Reporter

    Sikh News Reporter United States
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    Back in the late 1980s in the Detroit area, a young, Indian-born Sikh doctor named Sarab Neelam contacted fresh-faced screenwriter Jim Burnstein about a desire to make movies. Neelam had a lot of different ideas for films, and pitched everything from children’s stories to Middle East epics.
    “I wasn’t interested in any of them,” Burnstein recalled (writer of “Renaissance Man”), who currently heads the University’s screenwriting program in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures. “But I was interested in him.”

    Namely, Burnstein was interested in Neelam’s own story, having never met a Sikh before. And as the two got to know each other, more details emerged: Neelam’s family had moved from India to Toronto when he was 10 years old. He went to med school in Toronto before coming to Michigan to work at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he quickly became frustrated with how patients' insurance plans determined whether or not they could be treated. Not only that, but Neelam’s own cultural identity was (and still is) creating problems for him.

    “To this day, when I stand up in a plane, a lot of eyes will look at me, you know, in a negative way,” Neelam said, referring to his long beard and turban.

    In Sikh tradition, uncut hair is kept as an article of faith, and men (and some women) wear their turbans as important spiritual symbols. Yet much of the U.S. public remains unaware of their significance, and in the wake of 9/11, people have often mistakenly equated a turban-wearing Sikh with a radical Islamist.

    It was Neelam's desire to educate audiences about his own culture, combined with his wish to tell a story about a doctor navigating the U.S. health care system that led him to develop and direct “Ocean of Pearls.” The feature-length narrative film was shot entirely in Michigan and will tour several local theaters during the next few weeks.

    “Ocean of Pearls” tells the semi-autobiographical story of a young Sikh doctor named Amrit Singh (Omid Abtahi, “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh”) who takes a job in Detroit and immediately starts fighting to save non-insured transplant patients. At the same time, he struggles with compromising the traditions of his family for the sake of getting further ahead in his career. He alienates his girlfriend (Navi Rawat, TV’s “Numb3rs”) and father (Ajay Mehta, “Americanizing Shelley”) in the process. It’s an emotional journey, and one told with surprising grace and subtlety for a first-timer.

    But to make the film a reality, Neelam spent ten years learning filmmaking from the ground up. He took classes on directing and acting while continuing to work at the hospital. And though he had a script prepared, Burnstein was unsatisfied with it because the main character was an American doctor, leaving the Sikh character as a secondary.

    “I’m like, ‘No, no, no, it should be about the Sikh,’” Burnstein remembered. “It’s so much richer when you’re telling the story of the guy coming to America. It’s a universal story.”

    He hired one of his former students, a (non-Sikh) Indian named V. Prasad, to tailor the story around the Sikh.

    The guys also managed to reel in Hollywood legend Jeff Dowd as the film’s executive producer. Dowd, who was the inspiration for the “Dude” character in Joel and Ethan Coen’s “The Big Lebowski,” gave advice to Neelam over the phone and even came into Detroit to help out with reshoots.

    Referencing Dowd’s famously laid-back persona, Burnstein added, “he is that guy, but even more so.”


    Burnstein refused any offer of money from Neelam in exchange for producing the film. Finally, Neelam, who plans to continue working as a doctor even as he pursues a filmmaking career, promised payment in the form of free lifetime medical advice for Burnstein and his family.
    “I said, ‘Oh, you just made a terrible deal,’” remembered Burnstein. “We’re hypochondriacs.”


    The film’s message has struck a chord with audiences across the country. Neelam remarked that Sikhs everywhere have thanked him for telling their story. Although the director took some heat for a scene in the film’s trailer where Singh sheds his turban and cuts off his hair, Neelam noted that the only complaints have come from those who hadn't seen the actual film and therefore weren’t aware of the rationale behind the powerful scene. In fact, after “Ocean of Pearls” premiered in New York, Neelam received an e-mail from a Sikh boy who decided not to cut his hair after seeing the movie.
    For his part, Neelam is very aware of the pressure on “Pearls” to succeed. “This is the first time there’s been a lead character that’s been a Sikh,” he said. “From Hollywood there’s never been one character like this.” He added that neither Hollywood nor Bollywood have any prominent turban-wearing Sikh directors.


    But if “Pearls” finds the success it deserves, there will be at least one.
    “Ocean of Pearls” is currently playing a one-week engagement at the Maple Art Theater in Bloomfield Hills through Thursday. It will then screen at the Emagine Canton and the AMC Forum in Sterling Heights from August 14-20 before traveling to San Francisco. In June 2008, the movie won Best Feature Film at the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival. Check www.oceanofpearls.com for future screenings.
     

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