On Wednesday, 16 October in Melbourne at the Arts Centre as part of Documentary Australia Foundation’s (DAF) “Stories that Work”, guests watched ‘Five Year Grandma’, one of the most emotionally inspiring documentary pitches of the event. It showcased the damaging impact of the “all or nothing” assimilation into the “Australian way of life” as immigrants ostracise themselves from their culture.
Born in Fiji and of Indian heritage, filmmaker Ravi Chand spoke of losing contact with his mother’s side of the family after she was killed in a car accident a week from his 12th birthday. Her car was hit by a speeding van on the way to pick up her kids from school.
His life then revealed the pressure of having to fit into the Australian way of life and being constantly made to feel like his culture was an obstacle and something he needed to suppress.
All that changed when 24 years later he found out his maternal grandmother, who he thought had passed away, was still alive and waiting for him in the same house in Fiji.
Whilst not being able to speak the same language, the bond between Ravi and his grandmother was so strong that connected him back to the magic of his culture, family, language and set him on a path that questioned all that he learned about Australian history and what it really meant to be Australian.
The documentary also aims to uncover incredible Australian history not taught in schools or even known by the general public.
“This is not about how different we all are or how we should accept or assimilate. It’s about how we are all connected,” says Ravi.
His documentary ‘Five Year Grandma’ is an extraordinary window into the personal and very human impact of the oft muted voice of those on the receiving end of questionable race baiting politics and racist stereotype media commentary.
DAF is a unique not for profit that ensures important stories are told and seen, supported by powerful social impact campaigns.
The crowd funding campaign for Five Year Grandma has just officially been launched in association with DAF, which allows general public and philanthropic donations to be tax deductible.
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