Dal Puri Diaspora
English and Bhojpuri with English subtitles
Director/Writer/Cinematographer: Richard Fung Editor: Dennis Day Additional camera: Tanweer Ahmed (Delhi), Arun Jaiswal (Patna), Igor Drljača, Felix Chan, Ryan A. Randall (Toronto), Selwyn Henry (Trinidad) Score/Sound Design: Phil Strong Additional Narrator: Ramabai Espinet Animator: Evan Tapper Research/Production Manager: Pearl Sandhu Script Editor: Tim McCaskell Music: Drew Gonsalves with Kobo Town
Thin, doughy folds encasing a savoury filling of meat and vegetables: The recipe for dal puri travelled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to British and Dutch Caribbean colonies in the 19th Century. In the 1960s, the wrapped roti migrated from Trinidad to North America, where it is known as West Indian roti. As the dish moved from home fire to street stall to restaurant chain, and from festival to fast food, the flatbread was transformed in ingredients, cooking method, ways of eating and identity. Shot in Toronto, Trinidad and India, this mouthwatering documentary tracks dal puri’s remarkable passage across space and time, linking colonialism, migration and the globalization of tastes.
Sound, smell and taste can act as powerful memory triggers giving food the power to transport the eater back through time, perhaps even home. Michele Henry, Toronto Star
Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based artist and writer. His impressive roster of award-winning videos and installations, including Sea in the Blood (2000) and Rex vs. Singh (2008), have been widely exhibited and collected internationally. Dal Puri Diaspora won the Samsung Audience Award at the 2012 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.