This documentary tale of a young Brisbane goth's five-year courtship of a beautiful Pakistani woman is a tale of cross-cultural misunderstanding that's simultaneously funny, sad and insightful.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
There's no shortage of crazy love at this year's Festival, but Brisbane filmmaker Faramarz K-Rahber's account of his Aussie friend's five-year courtship of a beautiful Pakistani woman is out on its own. Brian, a sometime Goth and fulltime lonely heart in his late 20s, encounters 17-year-old Amber while visiting Lahore to perform at a puppet festival. When she kiddingly proposes he marry her, he's dazzled and makes it his purpose to do just that. His conversion to Islam is the first step on a long road fraught with obstacles, not the least of which is the impossibility of the couple's ever properly getting to know each other without first marrying. Brian persists through despair and discouragement, while the filmmaker fills us in on the changes of heart and perception undergone by Amber's perplexed family. The cross-cultural assumptions are sometimes so preposterous that you may want to laugh and weep at the same moment. Donkey weighs up the choices and chances that shape its unpredictable tale with touching insight. — BG