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Bambirak – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)

Who of us didn’t want to spend more time with our parents, specifically see what they did when we weren’t around? That’s what Kati gets to do in Bambirak.


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Director(s)Zamarin Wahdat
Screenplay ByZamarin Wahdat
Date Released (Sundance Film Festival)1/28/2021
Genre(s)Family
Duration14 Minutes
RatingNot Rated
Noted Cast
KatiLara Cengiz
FarukKailas Mahadevan

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Film Summary

With her grandmother nowhere to be found, Kati decides to hide in her father’s van and join him during his package deliveries. Discovering her comes as a shock, initially, but with her being rather helpful, he comes to enjoy spending the day with his daughter. At least until there is an incident.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: This is a tame film with nothing to really worry about beyond possible racism against Kati and her dad.
  • Jump Scares/ Laughs/ Tear-Jerking Moments: N/A

Cast & Characters

Please Note: This is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Kati

Kati is a young girl who usually is babysat by her grandmother but decides to hideaway in her dad’s van to his surprise. But, with a strong work ethic and being okay with being paid in candy, she becomes quite the asset.

Faruk

It isn’t clear if Faruk is a single father or not, but it is made clear he does rely on his mother to help with minding his daughter. But when she ends up unavailable, Faruk is very calm about it. In fact, it probably leads to one of the most enjoyable days he has ever had at work delivering packaged.

Review

Highlights

The Father/ Daughter Bond

Kati (Lara Cengiz) and Faruk (Kailas Mahadevan) in Faruk's van
Kailas Mahadevan appears in Bambirak by Zamarin Wahdat, an official selection of the Shorts Program at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lorena Duran.

There are multiple levels to why you have to appreciate the father/ daughter bond. First and foremost, it is in showing Faruk as someone who not only has a relationship with Kati but one that is playful and healthy. For I think it is far too often pushed the idea that men who have origins in the middle east, if not men in general, adhere immensely to gender roles. Thus, while they are good providers, they aren’t necessarily good parents. Yet, with Faruk, he would just as much give Kati candy and put her to work, as he would watch her dance and sheepishly do a few moves himself.

And when you add in how he rarely, if ever, gets angry with her, except for an incident towards the end of the movie, it really shows this is more than a kid he had, this is someone he takes care of and knows pretty well.

How The Bond Is Tested And Seeing It Heal

Which, granted, is tested when Kati gets into an altercation. Yet, even though racism isn’t a topic lurking in the shadows, it exists. And it doesn’t just exist for adults but children too, even when they interact with one another. But with Faruk at a disadvantage, unfortunately, you saw him shrink himself and make his daughter feel small to end the situation.

As you can imagine, maybe remember depending on the type of kid you were, there was nothing worse than saying sorry to someone when you didn’t do anything, or if you just weren’t sorry. Especially since there was always an audience, and it felt more about making you feel shame than acknowledging what was done. Hence you wondering if it would hurt Faruk and Kati’s relationship, but a part of me thinks she understood why her dad forced her hand. If not, considering she had such a good day with him, and he was potentially sorry for what he made her do, she didn’t want to end things on a sour note.

After all, she’d rather work and hang with her dad than be stuck in her grandmother’s apartment.

Overall

Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Bambirak gives you a short and sweet story in a tight 14-minute package. One that includes one of the sweetest father/ daughter duos you can think of and a conflict that feels real and definitely may stir up some memories. Hence the positive label. Bambirak feels like an act of love that makes you think not only how far you may have come as a person but also about your relationship with the people who helped mold you. Including the times you had to question their decisions, even if it was for the better in the long run.

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Summary

The Father/ Daughter Bond - 84%
How The Bond Is Tested And Seeing It Heal - 83%

84%

Bambirak feels like an act of love that makes you think not only how far you may have come as a person but also about your relationship with the people who helped mold you. Including the times you had to question their decisions, even if it was for the better in the long run.

What Would Your Rating Be?

Negative Mixed Positive

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Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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