Twenty years after his parents' deaths, filmmaker Dinesh Sabu seeks to uncover who they were.
Unbroken Glass is a documentary about filmmaker Dinesh Sabu's journey to understand his parents, who died 20 years ago when he was six years old. Traveling to India, Lousiana, California, and New Mexico, Dinesh pieces together the story of his mother's schizophrenia and how his family dealt with it in an age and culture where mental illness was often misunderstood, scorned and taboo.
Dwarka and Susheela Sabu lived complicated lives bridging two countries and cultures. Unbroken Glass is more than a story about immigrants or mental illness, it is a nuanced story of one family and their struggles.
More than a linear narrative of their lives, Unbroken Glass is an impressionistic portrait of who Dinesh's parents were-- as immigrants, family members, as complex people subject to social forces. It weaves together his journey of discovery with cinema-verite scenes of his family dealing with still raw emotions and consequences of his parents lives and deaths.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly 1% of the US population is affected by schizophrenia, and there is a proven genetic component to the illness. Some research has pointed to a link between "acculturative stress," the kind of stress immigrants experience adjusting to a new life, and the onset of mental illness. Dinesh hopes that telling this story will raise awareness about schizophrenia and empower families of the mentally ill to share their stories.
The project has almost completed shooting, including in such locations as India, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. However, what is perhaps the story's most important chapter has yet to be shot, to Dinesh's return to his parent's home in Louisiana.
Kickstarter funds will be used to finance this shoot. Dinesh will reconnect with and interview old family friends of his parents, to try to figure out who they were before his mother became ill, as well as how they understood her increasingly aberrant behavior in an age and culture with radically different attitudes towards mental illness.
This segment is crucial for the film, as Indian immigrants, Dinesh's lived their formative years in the United States in Louisiana. Moreover, during this time, Dinesh's mother Susheela first started showing signs of mental illness, what would ultimately be the schizophrenia that in part led her to take her life.
Kickstarter funds will fully fund the completion of shooting this documentary. Thank you for donating and helping this important story be told.
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Special Thanks on the film's website and a shout out on our Facebook page.Estimated delivery:
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Your name on film! When the film is completed, your name will be added to a "Special Thanks" section in the credits, as well as to the film's website.Estimated delivery:
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We'll send you "Kinsmen," the breakthrough album by acclaimed saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, whose music will be featured in the film. Plus you'll also receive the first edition signed DVD.Estimated delivery:
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Filmmaker Dinesh Sabu will personally make you a pot of homemade chai while you engage in a Q&A with the filmmakers. At this level you'll also receive a ticket to our Chicago Premiere and a first edition signed DVD. (If you live outside of the Chicago area, Dinesh will mail you a homemade chai masala, and the Q&A can be conducted over Skype.)Estimated delivery:
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An invitation to an exclusive rough cut screening and critique at Kartemquin Films. This generous donation level also includes homemade chai with the filmmakers, a ticket to our Chicago Premiere + a first edition signed DVD.Estimated delivery:
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