FQ columnist Bilal Qureshi compares two seemingly similar summer movies: Gurinder Chadha's Blinded by the Light and Danny Boyle's Yesterday, both of which feature music-obsessed South Asian male leads. However, while Boyle's film adopts a race-blind perspective, promoting a vision (or fantasy) of a multiracial Britain of friendships and intimacy, in Blinded by the Light, Chadha pushes her long-standing interest in race and multiculturalism beyond the feel-good sensibilities of her earlier hit, Bend it Like Beckham. Instead, Qureshi argues, Chadha has made a subversively political film, bristling with an urgent plea for empathy, inspired by the blinding xenophobia of Brexit.
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