An Indian family is expelled from Uganda when Idi Amin takes power. They move to Mississippi and time passes. The Indian daughter falls in love with a black man, and the respective families have to come to terms with it.
The film begins in 1972 when Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda. This included Jay (Roshan Seth) his wife, Kinnu (Sharmila Tagore), and their daughter, Mina (Sarita Choudhury), a family of third-generation Ugandan Indians residing in Kampala. It then moves forward to 1990. After spending a few years in England, Jay, Kinnu, and Mina have relocated in 1987 to Greenwood, Mississippi to live with family members who own a chain of motels there. Kinnu obtains work in a liquor store and Mina works for the motel of her extended family there (the Monte Cristo). She falls in love with Demetrius (Denzel Washington), a local African American self-employed carpet cleaner. The respective families erupt in turmoil after the pair are discovered and confronted by members of the Indian family during a clandestine weekend of pleasure in Biloxi. Ultimately, the two families cannot come to terms with the interracial pair, who flee the state together in Demetrius's van. After a brief return to Kampala to attend a court proceeding on the disposition of his confiscated Ugandan house, Jay relinquishes his long-nurtured dream of returning to Uganda, the place he considered home.
Factual Mistake Related to the map problems, we find later in the film that the family first moved to England and then came to the United States. But the map traversal implies a flight from Uganda to Mississippi.
Factual Mistake The Tri-color Flag of India is shown upside down, while it is being taken down when Jay & Kinnu are meeting Okello for the Last time. Green color is shown at top, which, actually is at the bottom & Orange being at top.
Errors in Geography On the map during the transition between Uganda and the U.S., Albany and Syracuse are located in Vermont.
Errors in Geography There are numerous problems with the map displayed when the family is leaving Africa. Florence is shown as a seaside town in Italy; Hartford, CT is placed too far East; Providence, RI is too far West; Durham, NC is placed too far Northwest and right on the Virginia border, which it isn't.
Continuity When the family is leaving on the bus to the airport, there is a parrot on Okelo's shoulder. In the close-up of Okelo, the parrot is missing.
Joseph Olita, who plays Idi Amin, also played him in Amin: The Rise and Fall (1981).
Demetrius' father, Williben, works as a server at a restaurant in their hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. The location used to shoot the restaurant scenes was Lusco's, a real restaurant that has been a Greenwood institution since it was opened in 1933 by Italian immigrants. The restaurant's appearance is distinguished by its individual, curtained-off private dining booths, which are visible in the movie. As of 2006, the restaurant was still running.
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