An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mississippi Masala

Being Valentine's day, I thought it would be appropriate to write about the most recent cross-cultural cinema -since the movie was a love story (among other things) and since I highlighted it as a "great date."

Last Thursday, I headed over to Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street - near Virginia Square Metro) to catch this month's cross cultural cinema film - Mississippi Masala. The film, featuring Denzel Washington, follows the lifes and love story of an Indian immigrant from Uganda (see the film for the historical background - interesting) and an African-American male in a small town in Mississippi.

There was a good crowd - the auditorium was pretty full. It was supposed to start at 6:30, but didn't start till around 6:45 - so if you're having trouble getting there on time, you probably have a little leeway - grab some fast food and head over. The crowd tilted senior, but there was some variety, including at least one young couple that looked like they were on a date (if you're reading this, let me know how it went!) So, here's my question to you - Why do we as young, lively, intelligent 20s and 30 somethings not go to stuff like this? There are some obvious reasons, I know. But I would love to hear your thoughts. Is it because it's in the library, because we assume that the crowd will just be older (and if so, for something like this, why does that matter?), because of the time? I'd love to hear your thoughts - what do you think, and how can we change that? Post here, or e-mail me @

But I digress (digression seems to be a common theme in these posts) - the movie. On the positive side, the film raised a lot of interesting questions about race relations - black/white - American/immigrant. Plus, it taught me a little history I wasn't totally aware of - Indian immigrants in Uganda. It definitely got my brain turning - I really wanted a discussion group afterwards. Maybe we should start, a cross-cultural cinema discussion group? Carpool is right across the street - we could go there after the film (maybe a little loud for a discussion, but I'm open to suggestions). What do you think? Post or e-mail me ( if you have any interest.

On the down side, I thought the love story, which was the tie that bound the story together was a little awkward and forced at times - but hey, I can get over that. All in all, it was an enjoyable, thought-provoking (free), experience, and I'm glad I went. And, yes, I got home in tome for Lost this week too. What's up with Charlie anyway?

Random postscript - the film reminded me of a really good book I read once about immigration in America, titled The Other Americans - a book which incidentally is available at the library. You can check the library catalog online here. I highly reccomend the book.


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