Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

John & Jane 2005

Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia

Globalization gets a human face and an eerie spiritual dimension in this artful documentary about the lives of young Indian workers in a Mumbai call centre.

India In English
83 minutes 35mm

Director, Editor


Mukul Kishore


Tarun Bhandari
Ashim Ahluwalia


Masta’ Justy
Thomas Brinkmann


Glen Castinho
Oaref Irani
Sydney Fernandes
Vandana Malwe
Nikesh Soares
Namrata Pravin Parekh


Toronto 2005; Berlin 2006


Documentarian Ashim Ahluwalia deploys the resources of fiction – elegant 35mm cinematography, intricate soundscaping, careful casting – to create this eerie picture of globalised dystopia. His subjects are workers at a Mumbai call centre, young Indian night-shift workers whose imaginative lives are as American as the strangers they earn a living from harassing by phone.

“Globalization gets a human face and outsourcing a spiritual dimension in Ashim Ahluwalia’s semi-staged, sometimes jaw-dropping documentary about life under the harsh fluorescent lights of an Indian call center. John & Jane is a hybrid film in a hybrid world. Spending their nights fielding calls from frantic Americans, the operators indulge their own fantasies about America, take American names along with their virtual identities, and even convert to Christianity.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“An astonishing look at the souls of the outsourced… The lives it depicts are real, but the film’s approach gives those lives the scope of speculative fiction.” — Cameron Bailey, Toronto Film Festival