Mira Nair discusses her new project: SHANTARAM, starring Johnny Depp

Director Mira Nair shared her excitement for her next project, SHANTARAM, in an interview for NDTV. She will be directing Johnny Depp in Gregory David Roberts’ epic story which “gives a different perspective of the relation between the east and the west.” Explains Ms. Nair, “Unlike the movies where the white man comes to the dark continents of the third world to teach us to, you know, how to light a candle, make some electricity [. . .] this is not that film. This is a film about a man who is ashamed, who is guilty, [. . .] who is a convict and who is a heroin addict who comes to this country and discovers what honour is. And he meets a number of very, very important desi characters who teach him what honour is and instill in him that honour, and that is a very different perspective or point of view than most of the films in which white men come to save us [. . . . W]hat I love most is that India is the hero of the film and the way we live is the hero of this film.”

As for a shooting schedule, the director said, “We start filming in November this year and it’s about a five month shoot over three continents. India, Australia, probably China or Ladakh for Afghanistan.” Although she hasn’t made casting decisions yet, Nair anticipates casting “the most extraordinary actors we have in our country. So it is very much an equation of Johnny Depp with so many of our finest, and that’s what I look forward to.”

The Zone thanks Theresa and emma for transcriptions of the interview: you can read Mira Nair’s interview in full on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

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