MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (1986)
by Hanif Kureishi
Johnny (Daniel Day Lewis);
Omar; Papa (Roshan Seth), Nasser's father -- an alcoholic
Nasser (Saeed Jeffrrey), Omar's uncle; Rachel, Omar's British
mistress; his wife, his three daughters (one of them Tania )
Salim-- Nasser's drug-dealer cousin; Cherry -- Salim's
How is the Thatcher period's London
(or more specifically south London) presented?
The white vs. the Pakistani:
Who represents the white and the Pakistani? What kinds of white people
are shown in Johnny and Rachel? Are there any similarities between
them? What positions has Johnny (who was a neo-Nazi of the National
Front) taken in relation to the "Paki" from the past to the present of
How is Papa opposed to uncle Nasser?
Do they feel a sense of belonging in London?
How do the wives (Cherry and Omar's wife)
in the film identify themselves? And how about Nasser's daughters?
Nasser -- He is the most complicated person
in the film. How does he behave in front of his uncle and the other
relatives? How is he related to Tania on the one hand, and then Johnny
on the other? How does he treat Salim in the drug business?
"My Beautiful Launderette is one of the
most riveting and important films produced by a black writer in recent
years and precisely for the reason that made it so controversial: its refusal
to to represent the black experience in Britain as monolithic, self-contained,
sexually stabilized and always 'right-on' --in a word, always and only
'positive,' or what Hanif Kureishi has called, 'cheering fictions'¡K."
--Stuart Hall "New Ethnicity"