The Namesake – Zwei Welten, a journey

The Namesake - Zwei Welten, a journey

The Namesake – Two worlds, one trip

The Namesake – Zwei Welten, a journey tells the story of a family, which is based on a name: Gogol – based on the eponymous Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. Thus, Ashoke and Ashima give their firstborn son, when they must decide quickly on the issue of birth certificate. Later, they give him the nickname nick. From then on, the boy lives between the two names, preferably one time, sometimes the other – and asks himself and his parents again and again: Why did Gogol? “One day you’ll know it,” Ashoke replied.

Is the survival after a train accident Ashoke emigrated from India to the United States: He studied in the land of opportunity, returns to the bride and search back to his home, Ashima takes to wife and back to New York. The young Indian woman has difficulties adjusting to the cold and gloomy city, and without the warmth and security of the extended family to live without the heat and the bright colors of India. However, she quickly finds connection in the circle of Bengali friends and acquaintances, and then their role in the rearing of her two children. These grow up to young Americans and can not really understand the desire of the mother to the country on the other side of the globe. Reluctant to visit the family in Calcutta, think little of the traditional celebration of the Bengali community and seek their own lifestyle. The Namesake Zwei Welten, a trip is a family saga of two generations, and especially makes the themes of integration and identity to the core of the story.

For just as Gogol / Nick and forth between two names is torn apart, he is always in the position between two cultures that shaped him and determine his life, he sometimes also both are alien. Nick falls in love with his fellow student Maxine, a rich American who finds his Indian origins exciting, but they do not understand. Inevitably there is a conflict between the two, died as Ashoke. The death of his father’s cause that Nick and his family turns to the Indian tradition – and eventually re-called Gogol. For behind his first name represents more than just his father’s passion for the Russian writers. At the last meeting with his father tells him that from the train wreck that night, when he read a novel by Nikolai Gogol. This book is a reason that Ashoke had survived, that he has gone on the road and laid the foundation for his family.

Mira Nair’s latest film, the narrative is masterly production of a family history, emotional and beautifully brought into the picture photographed. In an impressive way the film portrays the life of the first and second generation immigrants, shows the contrasts between Calcutta and New York as well as those between the two cultures. Even many years living in North America, Nair knows what they’re told. Accurate are the observations that the strong emotions they can experience the protagonists. According to Vanity Fair and Monsoon Wedding The Namesake is – Two worlds, one trip – an adaptation of the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri – currently the most personal film of the Indian woman.

(Verena Kolb)

Title: The Namesake – Zwei Welten, a trip Country of production: Canada Year of production: 2006 Length: 122 (min) of material: 20th Century Fox

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