Running time: 102 minutes
Written and directed by: Shonali Bose
Starring: Konkona Sen Sharma and Brinda Karat
Shonali Bose’s Amu, from her own screenplay (in English and Hindi with English subtitles), is clearly a labor of love for the activist filmmaker, as she breaks all the traditional inhibitions of Bollywood to remind the world of—and, for most of us, reveal for the first time—one of the most shameful episodes in Indian history. Following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Oct. 31, 1984, by her Sikh bodyguards, state-supported mobs stormed through Sikh neighborhoods and, with police complicity, killed any Sikhs they could find. The eventual body count—over 3,000—would have been even greater if the non-Sikh residents hadn’t risen in protest to stop the carnage.
Kaju (Konkona Sen Sharma) is an Indian-American college graduate who visits New Delhi to see her relatives and, in the process, discovers that she is an adopted child of the massacre. She is assisted by Keya (Brinda Karat), a well-educated local admirer; their muted romance, amid the beautiful vistas of Delhi, moves very slowly toward its ultimate destination in an all-too-censorable vindication of the Sikh martyrs.