FRANCES-ANNE SOLOMON ||| Filmmaker | Writer | Producer | Bideshi
page-template,page-template-page-fullwidth,page-template-page-fullwidth-php,page,page-id-26,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1200,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-10.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.6.0,vc_responsive

It’s an accomplished first script, magnificently realized by director Frances-Anne Solomon.

– An Ogidi


A Short Film by Frances-Anne Solomon
BBC Films & the BFI  | 1995 | 20 minutes | Imdb

Written by Tanika Gupta | with Roshan Seth, Archie Panjabi, Ronny Jutti, Badi Uzzman, Yazmin Sidhwa
Cinematography Mike Spragg | Designer Keith Khan

Days before his death, a Bengali man has a prophetic dream about his journey towards enlightenment

Bideshi (d. Frances-Anne Solomon, 1994) was one of four films featured in Siren Spirits, a BBC2 series of short films by Black and Asian women writers on the theme of magic and the supernatural. Written by Tanika Gupta (Flight, 1994; London Bridge, 1998; Crossroads, 2001), Bideshi is an enchanting, playful portrayal of the final odyssey of a dying man. “Bideshi” is a slang term for a foreigner, though as many people with a cross-cultural heritage will admit, “Bideshi” has a bittersweet echo that says one can be a foreigner twice.

Ajoy is a 50 year old man in a coma. His spirit leaves his body but it cannot leave the world of the living until he is reconciled with his daughter Joyoti, more specifically her choice to have a baby with her black boyfriend. Although it is a situation that can easily tip into melodramatic cliché, Bideshi is a warm, perceptive look at a father-daughter bond. Roshan Seth is absolutely charming as the father while daughter Jyoti (Archie Panjabi) is a perfectly realized rebellious yet loving daughter.

It’s an accomplished first script, magnificently realized by director Frances-Anne Solomon. The other films in the Siren Spirits series were White Men Are Cracking Up (d. Ngozi Onwurah, 1994), a detective thriller given a supernatural twist; Get Me To The Crematorium On Time (d. Dani Williamson, 1994), about a woman haunted by her deceased husband; and Memsahib Rita (d. Pratibha Parmar, 1994), a Hollywood-Bollywood fantasy. A small point of interest is that the production company Leda Serene is an all-female Black and Asian team.

Ann Ogidi

Awards: Best Short Film at the Bombay Film Festival 1998