Summary of the film

The story takes place in the city of Salford, England, in the 1970’s.
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At the time, Salford’s inhabitants were mainly Pakistani
immigrants. In the film, we meet two parents, George and Ella Khan, and their seven children. The film starts with showing a scene from an arranged wedding. The wedding doesn’t go as planned, and the scene ends with Nazir,Ella’s and George’s oldest son, escaping from the wedding. He was reluctant to wed a girl he didn’t know nor love. George was outraged by this, and decided to arrange two marriages for two additional sons in order “to make things right”, or to bring away the shame that had been brought upon his family. The two soon to be married sons were very much unlike each other, with one of them being fond of a western lifestyle and the other one being fond of Islam. The first one, Tariq, is already in a relationship with an English girl, and the arranged marriage made him very mad. He ended up attacking George and destroying the traditionalistic Islamic wedding clothes. Ella saw George destroying the once united family, and she finally stood up to George. A woman standing up to his man wasn’t accepted in Islam, and as the traditionalistic and religious man George was, he beat Ella. The beating of Ella resulted in the six children fleeing from their house, seeking asylum at their brother’s, Nazir, house. The six siblings were surprised by a radical change in Nazir’s lifestyle, and they got the impression that he was gay – which was in fact correctly guessed. Meanwhile, at the Khan house, George was frustrated because he felt that he had no control of his family, and that everyone had left him because of his beloved Islamic way of breeding. After some time, Abdul and Tariq agreed to the arranged marriages, but Tariq made it clear that once he was married, he would instantly seek for a divorce. At a meeting between the two soon to be bonded for life families, there was an uncomfortable tone and tension between the two parties. Some remarks and glances led to a fierce argument, where the two parents of the other family insults the Khan family with calling them half breeds. Ella boiled over, and chased the family away. Of course, George didn’t like that, and he attacked Ella again. The children stopped him, and George had to step away. He realised that he had no actual power over his wife nor children, and he became a broken and sad man.

Educational value
The film shows that there is a clear contrast between Islamic and British way of living, and that there is equal contrast between first and second generation immigrants. While George followed Pakistani and Islamic tradition, his children was fonder of British tradition and the acceptance of individual rights. The children were in other words better integrated than their father, and this created a massive argument and tension between the two parties. In many ways this film shows how multicultural Britain is, and how once valued traditions and beliefs come in conflict with each other when meeting other cultures.

Theme and message
The theme can be said to be multiculturalism or integrating, and the message is of course related to this theme in every way. To find a clear definition of what that message is, we would have to take the conflicts between George and his children in consideration. The epic battles between the two parties were always related to Islamic way of thinking and British way of thinking, and thus can one say that the message of this film is that everyone, at least in the “western world”, has the individual right to decide the direction of one’s own life.


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