The other night, I watched a short film made by a TCK and written about a TCK, called “The Road Home.” Lizzy was the one who first found it through this review from Denizen and we both thought the film was beautiful and thought-provoking. Since it was a short (only about 25 minutes), it was more of a discussion opener than a deep delve into the TCK psyche. The main character is a British-Indian boy who struggles with accepting both of his cultures. It made us wonder if it’s possible to only live in one culture, to flip the switch between two worlds. I know that my brother has always been able to do that – speaking flawlessly in Italian to following the latest American trends – but is it positive? Is it possible to ignore and shut out the influence part of your life has had on you? The film sought to loosely answer this question, which we had a great time discussing over Skype.
Lizzy: In the film, the line my heart responded most to was the free-flowing, French backpacker-hippie’s announcement to the boy: “You can be both.” Pico, a British kid with an Indian appearance, considered himself exclusively British. He fought to make everyone else believe he wasn’t Indian and eventually developed doubts himself. For me, “The Road Home” brought up the question of choice. Can I choose how much Chinese and how much American is inside me? Can I choose just one or the other? Do I already try to? I think I try to have a lot of control over the parts of my identity as they make up the whole, measuring and dividing them. I think I often want to choose how much and how little, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other TCKs compartmentalized the effects their countries have had on them in the same way.
In sum, we came up with three major takeaways:
1. It’s ok to be angry when you feel frustrated and confused with your TCK story. 2. You can’t always just choose one culture to live in. 3. Live in the present; live where you are.
I hope a full-length film is developed from this – I’d love to see more TCK themes explored against the sweeping backdrop of rural India. We recommend you check out the film by clicking the link!