Dinesh Das Sabu
Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2016
Dallas VideoFest, Asian American fests in Austin, Seattle, and Los Angeles
The filmmaker’s personal exploration of mental illness in his Indian-American family.
Twenty years ago, Sabu and his four sibling suddenly found themselves orphans, losing first their father to cancer and, shortly thereafter, their mother to suicide stemming from a struggle with schizophrenia. Traumatized by this loss, the family kept their mother’s mental illness a secret, and, miraculously, the older children successfully raised the younger ones to adulthood. Having struggled with depression, the filmmaker seeks answers to this silenced family history, despite the hesitancy of some of his siblings, prompting sometime painful interviews as well as a not-particularly relevant trip to India. While Sabu tackles a taboo topic with understandable restraint, unfortunately at times he loses his way in his exploration, betraying his inexperience as a filmmaker. He also fails to fully explore the most intriguing aspects of his family’s story – how they essentially reared one another, and how this ultimately impacted them all.