Documentary Film 'Under the Turban' Seeks to Counter Misconceptions About Sikhs

A family's epic journey to understand their faith

Under The Turban - Golden Temple in Amritsar, India

In 2012nine-year-old Zara asked her parents the question, "What does it mean to be Sikh?" This propels her modern family of six on an epic adventure to understand their ancient religion, the 5th largest following Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. With camera crew in tow, the family traveled to seven countries over five years — Italy, Argentina, Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States — to understand the rising tide of hostility against Sikhs and to ask other Sikhs about their faith and customs.  

As recently reported by The Los Angles Times, attacks against Sikhs are on the rise in the U.S. and the U.K.: "While some of the violence against Sikhs stems from misconceptions about their background — attackers assume they are Muslim or Middle Eastern — experts say much of it is fueled by a prejudiced response to their darker skin, beards or turbans."

The documentary features interviews with a family of Parmesan cheese makers in Italy, religious leaders, military personnel, a London tribe of turbaned fashionistas, as well as members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club in Vancouver B.C. who share their deeply held beliefs: devotion to God, truthful living, and service to humanity. Historians Pushpindar Singh Chopra (Executive Editor of Nishaan), Dr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (Crawford Professor of Religious Studies, Colby College), Professor Tan Tai Yong (Executive Vice President, Yale-Nus College, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore) and Brigadier Sukhjit Singh (9th Maharaja of Kapurthala) provide the historical context for the religion including the Sikhs' long history of military service where they rose to prominence in the British Indian Army. Survivors from the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Park are interviewed about the racially-motivated lone gunman who killed six people outside of a gurdwara (temple). The film is directed by Satinder Garcha with co-directors Meghan Shea & Michael K. Rogers.

"It takes a bit of courage to take your family on a trip like this, which is also key to being Sikh," says director Satinder Garcha.


Cinema Libre Studio will release the film in the U.S. and Canada on DVD and Streaming platforms (including Amazon and Vimeo) starting June 20, 2017 and via Gathr theatrical-on-demand ® (U.S. only) starting June 27, 2017. Screenings are scheduled in Fresno, CA, Denver, CO, Leawood, KS, Phoenix, AZ, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C. More details here. | |  MEDIA ASSETS

TECHNICAL DETAILS: Documentary | 89 MINS |  English and Italian, Punjabi, Spanish with English subtitles

ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE: Cinema Libre Studio is a full-service mini-studio known for producing and distributing high caliber feature films and social impact documentaries. Headquartered in the Los Angeles area, the team has released over 180 films including "The End of Poverty?," Rachid Bouchareb’s "London River" and Oliver Stone’s "South of the Border." The studio is in pre-production on "Angola 1, 2 and 3," a narrative feature about three African American men who were held in solitary confinement for decades in Louisiana's State Prison for a crime they did not commit.

Source: Cinema Libre Studio


Categories: Ethnic and Multi-Cultural, Religion, Arts and Entertainment

Tags: documentary, racial violence, religion, Satinder Garcha, Sikh, Sikhism

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Cinema Libre Studio is a full-service mini-studio known for producing and distributing high quality feature films and social impact documentaries. Headquartered in the Los Angeles area, the team has released over 200 films.

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