[…] Thus home may not be so much a singular physical entity fixed in a particular place, but rather a mobile, symbolic habitat, a performative way of life and of doing things in which one makes one’s home while in movement.This understanding of home as related to cultural and symbolic frameworks points to the role played by media objects in the configuration of transnational and diasporic families.
More importantly, the narrative underlying the audio-letters of the father emphasises the vertical axis between the country of origin and the destination country that Berghahn pointed out as characteristic of the diasporic consciousness.
Therefore, the story of the Suri family could be read as hybridisation between a narrower understanding of the transnational phenomenon and a more proper diasporic/migrant experience.
The story begins in 1965 when the entire family emigrates to England, where her father Yash obtained a job as a doctor.
Shortly after arriving he buys a pair of Super 8 cameras, two projectors, and two tape recorders; he sends one set to his family in India and the other he keeps for himself.
In an increasingly globalised world, the phenomenon of transnational families has spanned many countries, raising questions as to the traditional understanding of home, a concept normally associated with the notions of homeland and the family house.
This article intends to study these issues through an analysis of (2005), a documentary film portraying the migratory endeavours of an Indian family that moved to the UK in the 1960s.
This is even more evident in the case of personal and family media such as letters, snapshots, home movies, and home videos, which give shape to what Van Dijck has termed our ‘personal cultural memory’.Home movies play a special role in this configuration of family identity, as their primary role, according to Roger Odin, is to strengthen the family and safeguard it as an institution, providing a mythical anchor that protects it from the contingencies of time and the tests to which it is subjected by the world. This function, which was fulfilled literally when families sat down together in front of the film projector or the television, took place in an analogous fashion in transnational families, with the home movies filmed to be watched not only by the nuclear family but also to be sent to family members living in either the country of origin or of reception.
The home movies thus served as a much more vital way of holding the family together, like an umbilical cord that kept the family bonds alive.
The film is quite clearly structured in three parts.