As we have said before, it’s a great time for desi documentaries. And while this one is not an Indian production, it does have a desi connection. Amma & Appa is a personal documentary about the cross-cultural marriage of director Franziska Schoenenberger and her fiancé and co-director Jayakrishnan Subramaniam. It was warmly received when it showed recently at the Berlin Film Fest in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section. Check out the trailer and synopsis below:
Franziska comes from Bavaria and is in love with Jayakrishnan from southern India. When the couple decide that their love should lead to marriage and a life in Germany, both sets of in-laws find that cultural customs they took for granted are now suddenly subjected to scrutiny.
Whilst Franziska’s parents chose to marry of their own free will, the marriage of Jayakrishnan’s parents was arranged within their own caste, as is customary in Caddalore in southern India. As far as they are concerned, their son’s intention not only to marry a foreigner but to marry for love represents a cruel act of revenge on the part of the gods, since the match calls into question their whole traditional way of life.
Hoping to overcome cultural barriers, the parents of the Bavarian bride-to-be decide to travel to India to visit their future son-in-law’s parents. Interspersed with delicate animation sequences, Amma & Appa is a personal documentary which tells the story of one intercultural union — and in doing so humorously explores the familiar in the unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar in the familiar.