Comox Valley Art Gallery’s TIFF Fall Film Series concludes at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 with Beeba Boys, a powerful new film by Oscar-nominated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Written and directed by Mehta, Beeba Boys has garnered both accolades and controversy since it premiered in Vancouver in mid-September.
Bollywood star Randeep Hooda (Once Upon a Time in Mumbai) shines as the charismatic, dangerous and merciless Jeet Johar, an Indo-Canadian 20-something gang leader who, along with his Beeba – or good – Boys, is at war with elderly mobster Robbie Grewel. For all the flash and style, fast cars, guns and drugs, what Johar craves more than anything is respect.
Although loosely based on the career of notorious B.C. gangster “Bindy” Singh Johal and the Punjabi Mafia gangs of second- and third-generation Indian immigrants operating on Canada’s West Coast in the 1990s, the film is a work of fiction and is not intended to be viewed as a documentary.
While some law enforcement agencies in the Lower Mainland have criticized the film for its portrayal of gang culture, former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh weighs the film against the reality that gang wars have cost the lives of 150 young Indo-Canadian men since the 1990s. In an interview with The Globe and Mail’s Ian Bailey, Dosanjh states “(Beeba Boys) is a very brutally honest depiction of a brutal disease that afflicts B.C., and some of it is in the Indo-Canadian community.”
Provocative and exciting, Beeba Boys tells a tale of violence, racism, discrimination, and marginalization, but at its core is a powerful story about family that is sure to resonate with any audience.
Tickets are $13, $12 for CVAG members, and are available at the CVAG Gift Shop, 580 Duncan Ave., in downtown Courtenay. To purchase tickets by phone, call 250-338-6211. All films are screened at the Rialto Theatre, Driftwood Mall, 2665 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay. For complete film series information visit comoxvalleyartgallery.com