Child of Empire


Institute History

  • 2022 Sundance Film Festival


As our world strains under the weight of unprecedented global migration and colonial extraction, this animated virtual reality documentary immerses participants in one of the largest forced migrations in human history: the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan.

Child of Empire takes audiences through a deeply personal perspective of this epic historical event. Two men from the Partition generation — Ishar Das Arora, an Indian Hindu who migrated from Pakistan to India, and, a Pakistani Muslim who made the opposite journey — share childhood memories of their experiences while playing a board game. As the two men unpack their memories, audiences embody the experience of a 7-year-old child at key points in the migration. Child of Empire offers a powerful counternarrative that lends a fresh perspective on the effects of forced migration on everyday individuals.

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