I for India

Director: Sandhya Suri

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Annoyed at the poor quality of long-distance phone calls from England to his home country of India, in 1965 Yash Pal Suri bought two Super-8 film cameras, two projectors, and two reel-to-reel recorders and sent one of each to his parents back home. Over the following decades, Yash filmed his surroundings—images of snow, ladies in miniskirts dancing bare-legged, the first trip to an English supermarket—his taped thoughts and observations providing a unique chronicle of the eccentricities of his new English hosts. He then exchanged the journals with his parents' similar recordings of his home culture.

I for India is a telling portrait of separation through both old and current footage of the family. While the subject matter is reliant on nostalgia, filmmaker (and Yash's daughter) Sandhya Suri avoids overanalysis and sentimentality. The gorgeous film grain and crackling audio static are compelling. But time rolls on, and as the possibility of returning to India becomes less realistic, the cine-reports become darker and more frustrated. Yash has the ability to be both humble and proud in the middle of it all.

It is so bittersweet: if not for the huge separation of the family, would Yash have made such a beautiful time capsule?

— Mike Plante

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]