Beeba Boys brings Deepa Mehta into gang territory
Filmmaker was intrigued to learn of real-life Sikh mobsters in B.C.
Canadian director Deepa Mehta, a self-described gangster movie fan, ventures into new territory with her latest, the ferocious crime story Beeba Boys.
The Toronto-based Mehta, best known for provocative, emotionally complex and literary films like Water and Midnight's Children, said she was intrigued to learn of real-life Sikh gangsters operating on Canada's West Coast.
"No. It's not possible. We brown immigrants are supposed to be really good," she recalled thinking at the time.
Eventually, she had the opportunity to meet real Punjabi gang members – enjoying tea and samosas in the living room with their mothers before venturing downstairs where they showed her their Glocks and AK47s. The filmmaker boldly asked one man about his motivation.
"He said a lot of it comes from the white legacy of racism and the desire to be seen," Mehta told CBC News.
"It's not just the 'usual gangster stuff.' It is a lot of anger and desire to be visible in a white dominated society."
The Oscar-nominated Mehta draws from those encounters for her aggressively stylish and violent new film, which sees a brutal, young, dandified Indo-Canadian crew viciously battle an older, established crime syndicate for control of Vancouver's drugs and arms scene.
In the video above, Mehta and cast member Ali Momen discuss Beeba Boys, which has its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film hits Canadian theatres on October 16.
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