East Is East Analysis

Submitted By gicortellini
Words: 735
Pages: 3

“East is east” portraits the story of Pakistani George, his British white wife Ella and their seven British and race-mixed children in Manchester, in 1971. Owner of a fish-and-chips store, the father-of-seven expect their children to follow Islamic and Pakistani traditions even if it is against their will, arranging weddings for three of them during the film and failing in all tries. What catches most of attention during the film is the unavoidable cultural clash (the family does not fit into either the Pakistani community or the white community) followed by the avoidable several ways of discrimination from both sides (Pakistani and British).
Sexual preference discrimination is seen when after George tries to arrange a wedding for Nadir, this oldest son. Although Nadir followed the idea until the last minute, he ran away in the middle of this wedding party and as his family would not forgive him, he decides to move to another city and start a new life. George had already disowned him and believes he has disgraced his family after finding out he was living with his male partner.
Religion discrimination is seen from the beginning until the end of the film, from both British and Pakistani side. The film starts with a Christian parade in which all George’s children are happily taking part on until they find out their father is around and they are forced to hide as he would never accept another religion apart from the Islam. However, we can also realise that British people do not respect the Islamic religion, especially when at some point in the film a priest says “God bless” to George and he replies “and Allah be with you”. Gender discrimination is seen throughout the whole film, especially with the mother Ella, who tolerates the threats of George bringing his first wife from Pakistan to England and respects the Islamic and Pakistani traditions even if her husband does not respect hers. George, due to his religion and culture, sees himself as the “chief of the family” as he is the man who provides for his wife and kids, therefore he thinks he is the only one who can make decisions at home, and that is clearly seen when he threatens to beat one his sons during an argument because the son looked at his mother hoping she would say something against his father. Ella has no chances to pronounce herself against George and when she tries to do it, he leaves her with a black eye. Racial/xenophobic discrimination is the main point of the whole film, as George comes from Pakistani and lives in a city where most of British people, especially the older ones, do not “accept” foreigners (for example, Ernest’s grandfather is very racist and advertises Enoch Powell coming to talk in the city, a very known man