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Hanif Kureishi’s cinematic storytelling embraces a wide spectrum of characters from all classes and nationalities, depicting them with compassion, humour and relish, though never fighting shy of controversy. This volume comprises four of Kureishi’s screenplays.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
Omar is a restless young Asian man, caring for his alcoholic father in the hustling London of the mid-1980s. His uncle, a keen Thatcherite, offers Omar an entrepreneurial opportunity to revamp a dingy laundrette, and ambitious Omar rolls up his sleeves, enlisting the assistance of his old school-friend Johnny, who has since fallen in with a gang of neo-fascists. Omar and Johnny soon form an unlikely alliance that leads to business success, as well as other, more intimate surprises.
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)
1980s London, and Sammy and Rosie share an ‘open’ marriage, strings of lovers, and a bohemian existence amidst inner-city turmoil. Sammy’s father, Rafi, formerly a government minister in India, visits London as racial tensions rise with the death of a woman in a police raid. Rafi offers Sammy financial assistance if the couple will leave their ‘war zone’ behind them and produce grandchildren. But Rafi’s own shady past threatens to haunt him.
London Kills Me (1991)
A weekend in the lives of homeless Clint and his pal Muffdiver, youthful veterans of the streets of London, whose chief source of income derives from selling drugs to the wealthier denizens of Notting Hill. But what Clint wants more than anything else is a proper job, and he’s been promised a position as a waiter in a restaurant – on the condition that he can come up with a pair of ‘sensible’ shoes.
My Son the Fanatic (1997)
Parvez is a Pakistani cab driver in a northern industrial town who chauffeurs young prostitute Bettina. Their gentle friendship grows more tender as Parvez’s home life starts to crumble, his son Farid embracing a fundamentalist sect of Islam and rejecting his father’s values. When Farid then involves himself with a group committed to purging the town of corruption, Parvez is compelled to choose where his loyalties lie.
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