The Canadian police have criticised the glamorisation of local gang lifestyle in Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s new movie Beeba Boys, a media report said.
Sergeant Lindsey Houghton from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and Abbotsford Police spokesperson constable Ian MacDonald were invited to a special screening of the movie in Vancouver recently.
After watching the movie, they said it offers an inaccurate impression about gang lifestyle in the region and were worried about the negative effect it could have on Indo-Canadian youth, The Voice Online reported on Friday.
“It is not all money and cars and drugs all the time, and going out and partying. It is paranoia, it is fear, it is constantly looking over your shoulder for your friends, your enemies, for the police,” Houghton was quoted as saying.
Houghton said that his concern is about the glorification of the gang lifestyle.
“My concern is that the South Asian community has worked unbelievably hard over the last decade and been so proactive to try and fight these stereotypes, and we have worked very hard along with them to try and help them with that and vice versa. And my concern is that a movie like this will set those efforts back,” he added.
According to Houghton, perhaps Mehta did not want to have an accurate portrayal as a moviemaker because “sometimes telling the truth or showing the truth might not sell.”
Houghton also decried the use of the kirpan (a short sword or knife worn by religious Sikhs) in one of the scenes to cut a guy’s throat.
MacDonald, however, said the movie was watchable and was properly edited.
“The issues that I have are with the content, and regrettably I was struggling to find any positive South Asian characters in the movie. I thought there were a lot of potentials for the film that just were not realised.”
“[The movie] is not a very accurate portrayal of what it is to be a gangster. They missed a lot of the loneliness, the inherent boredom and fear, and the fact that many times and in almost every environment [the gangsters] are basically social pariahs,” MacDonald pointed out.
Houghton and MacDonald have provided a wealth of expert analysis on gangs over the past years.
The movie will be released across Canada on October 16.