Vikas Khanna has traveled the world in his study of the connection between nourishment for the soul and nourishment for the body.
From his Michelin starred Manhattan restaurant, to his James Beard Award nomination and listing as Deutsch Welle News Top 10 Chefs in the World, it is clear that Khanna makes that connection in his cuisine and his writing on the subject.
Khanna has now turned his attention to making films. Khanna’s first narrative feature film, The Last Color opens the Atlanta Indian Film Festival tonight.
The Last Color, tells the story of a present-day India that is changing for women and girls. Most of the film is set in the later 1990s Varanasi and revolves around the friendship of a widow and an orphaned young girl who walks a tightrope in the hopes of earning enough money to pay for school. Until this last decade, widows in India were not allowed to participate in society.
This forced exile of eternal mourning included a bland diet, no social interaction, no celebrations and no color. In The Last Color, these two women rise above the oppression of caste and misogyny to create a friendship with far-reaching effects.
Khanna read a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, which is also the last two lines of the movie. It reads:
“Where the mind is without fair and the head is held high. Where knowledge is free. Where the world has not be broken into fragments by narrow domestic walls. Where words come out of the depth of truth, where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection. Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit. Where the mind is lead forward by the into ever-widening thought and action. Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.”
The Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce is kicking off The Atlanta Indian Film Festival with a Screening and Discussion of The Last Color on May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Aurora Cineplex in Roswell.