CANADA (Sasha Stoltz Publicity): Basically, most of director Faisal Lutchmedial’s work has always been about cultural identity, and Useless Things is his latest short film that he also stars as Shashin, a young man going through the objects in his family home after the death of his parents.
“The film is a tragedy. Every immigration story is different” Faisal said. “The main character is estranged from his family. He’s disassociated with his family’s history. The regret is not being able to reconnect with his family.”
The protagonist in Useless Things is Indian-Canadian, whereas Faisal is Begali/Trinidadian-Canadian. His family history goes back to two generations from India; his father is a Hindu at birth. Both 2006’s My Cultural Divide and Useless Things explores the universal themes of immigration, identity, and heritage, with the latter using Hindu philosophy to tell its story.
“It’s a poetic tale that goes back and forth through time” Faisal states. “Each of the characters represents a certain god; there are a lot of metaphors.”
For instance, Shashin represents Soma (or the moon) and throughout the film, his character’s turmoil is represented by the decapitated demon Rahu, who swallows the moon during the eclipse.
The main plot of Useless Things centers around Shashin relating to what everyone else relates to everyday: knowing who we were and where we come from in order to become the person we’re called to be. If we don’t know our past, then how can we live in the present and know our future? In the movie, Shashin is tortured, angst-ridden, and conflicted over the family history that he rejected all his life, and slowly starts to have second thoughts about selling the house once he begins looking at family photos and the objects the title of the film suggests are “useless”.
However, Useless Things isn’t an autobiography, for Shashin is the complete antithesis of Faisal; the character is who he could’ve been. “It is easy to associate that; it is something that is close to me” he continues. “It is easy to associate that; it is something that is close to me” he continues. “It’s interesting to look at how you view yourself and how other people view themselves.
“The Reelworld Film Festival itself is about diverse culture and looking for those kinds of stories. I want people to come out of this film and really think about connecting where they come from, where their parents come from. It’s a lot of history that gets lost; it’d be a huge loss.”
The 10th Annual Reelworld Film Festival will take place in Toronto from April 7-11 with regular screenings at the Canada Square Theatre and gala screenings at the Scotiabank Theatre. Tickets and passes are currently on sale; to purchase them, go online to www.reelworld.ca, email them at [email protected], or call them at 416-599-7933.