Officials say Deepa Mehta’s film could have negative effect on South Asian community
The Canadian police have criticised the glamourisation of local gang-lifestyle in Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s new movie Beeba Boys.
Sergeant Lindsey Houghton from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and Abbotsford Police spokesperson constable Ian MacDonald were invited to a special screening of the movie in Vancouver recently.
After watching the movie, their reaction was that it gives a wrong impression about the realities of the gang-lifestyle in the region and were worried about the negative effect it could have on Indo-Canadian youth, Voice Online reported on Friday.
“It is not all money and cars and drugs all the time and going out and partying. It is paranoia, it is fear, it is constantly looking over your shoulder for your friends, your enemies, for the police,” Houghton was quoted as saying.
“My concern is that the South Asian community has worked unbelievably hard over the last decade and been so proactive to try and fight these stereotypes and we have worked very hard along with them to try and help them with that and vice versa. And my concern is that a movie like this will set those efforts back,” he added.
According to Houghton, perhaps Mehta did not want to have an accurate portrayal as a movie maker because “sometimes telling the truth or showing the truth might not sell.”
Houghton also decried the use of the kirpan (a short sword or knife worn by religious Sikhs) in one of the scenes to cut a guy’s throat.
MacDonald, however, said the movie was watchable and was properly edited.
“The issues that I have are with the content and regrettably I was struggling to find any positive South Asian characters in the movie. I thought there were a lot of potentials for the film that just were not realised.”
“Beeba Boys is not a very accurate portrayal of what it is to be a gangster. They missed a lot of the loneliness, the inherent boredom and fear, and the fact that many times and in almost every environment (the gangsters) are basically social pariahs,” MacDonald pointed out.
Houghton and MacDonald have provided a wealth of expert analysis on gangs over the past years.
Beeba Boys stars Pakistani actor Ali Kazmi alongside Bollywood actors Randeep Hooda and Gulshan Grover among others.
The movie will be released across Canada on October 16.