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Sixth Happiness

An opportunity to see Firdus Kanga’s powerful autobiographical drama, detailing his battle to overcome prejudice.

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Dir Waris Hussein
Prod Tatiana Kennedy
Scr Firdaus Kanga
With Firdaus Kanga, Souad Faress, Khodus Wadia
UK
1997
98min
35mm
Cert 12A
UK Distribution BFI Distribution

Set in 1960s Bombay, Kanga plays himself in this adaptation of his semi-autobiographical novel. As Brit Kowal, he is a rebel who is as intelligent and witty as he is selfish and manipulative. His mother is deeply attached to her Parsee heritage, clinging to a fetishistic nostalgia of the British Empire, whilst his father treats Brit as a problem to be solved. But Brit is determined to defy his family’s low expectation of him, due in part to his brittle bone condition. Throughout Sixth Happiness, the people around Brit constantly discuss how he can’t grow. Yet we see him grow into his queerness, through his writing and the actualisation of his body as a sexual being. Affectionate yet unsentimental, the film offers an intriguing and compelling approach to understanding how disability, race and queerness are portrayed on screen.

Tara Brown

Additional information

Flare programmer Tara Brown will host a discussion about the themes raised by the film immediately following the screening.




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