“Abu” is the Urdu word for “father,” making it a fitting choice for the title of Arshad Khan’s very personal new documentary. The film mixes personal footage, interviews, and even a slew of Bollywood films to tell the story of Khan — a gay man who has long struggled to be authentic to his unaccepting family — and his father, a devout Muslim.
Per the film’s official synopsis, “Abu” is billed as “a journey to the center of a fragmented family as they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation and classic Bollywood films, gay-identifying Pakistani Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism and modernity and familiarity. It is a father and son’s search for that elusive place called ‘home.'”
The film is Khan’s feature directorial debut, though he’s made a number of short films since graduating the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, including “Valery’s Suitcase,” “Doggoned,” “ZEN,” and “Threadbare.” He is also the director of the premiere South Asian film festival of Canada, MISAFF.
“Abu” will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival later this month.
Check out our exclusive trailer for “Abu” below.