21 years after the devastating riots that caused havoc in the predominantly South Asian neighbourhood of Bradford, a poignantly cinematic documentary pictures the infamous city in all its glory.
‘Dear Bradford’ is a short documentary directed by Vivek Vadoli with BAFTA and the academic award-winning Guardian documentary team, captures the misunderstood city in a different light; one that portrays a heart-touching depiction of the South Asian community that lies at the heart of it.
A culturally fertile playground consisting of diverse cultural identities, Bradford has gained some notoriety largely instigated by stereotypes. From Muslim no-go zones to a white nationalist voter base, the city’s disturbing past overshadows the cultural potpourri that brims at the centre of the region.
The documentary provides an endearing lens to the city from the perspective of Farhaan, born in the 1980s to a south Asian family Muslim family. Farhaan’s tryst with juggling a dual identity aptly depicts the struggles of diaspora kids often caught between polar opposites worlds.
The protagonist’s fear of being ‘found out’, for his identity causes him to move away. Travelling the world as an English teacher, an unprecedented pandemic forces him to reluctantly return home.
A reconnection occurs as Farhaan stumbles upon his beloved grandmother’s tales and late grandfather’s poetry which sets him on a journey of self-discovery and a newfound love for his identity and his city.
This is a must-watch documentary that presents a different side to a city that is home to many diaspora families and proves to be a portal into the shared identity, struggles, and intergenerational creativity.
View the documentary here.
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