Shabana Bakhsh

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A Fond Kiss Review


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Director Ken Loach (Sweet Sixteen) turns his magnifying glass of social consciousness toward an examination of romance amidst clashing cultures. Imagine My Big Fat Greek Wedding in which the ethnic family doesn't accept their daughter's non-Greek groom. Acceptance makes all the difference when non-acceptance means cultural separation, heartbreak, rigidity, and self-exclusion. Readjustment in multi-ethnic societies comes hard, as this love story dramatizes.

Young Pakistani student Tahara Khan (Shabana Bakhsh) sets off a campus melee with a fiery speech about her claim of individuality. This brings in her big brother Casim (Atta Yaqub) for a rescue from the milling crowd, helping her flee to safer quarters. They take refuge in the classroom of Irish, blond, sexy music teacher Roisin Hanlon (Eva Birthistle). Talk about contrived, but Loach likes to set up his boy-girl meets in an action context.

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