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I'm British But... (1989)

Main image of I'm British But... (1989)
DirectorGurinder Chadha
Production CompanyBritish Film Institute Production
 Channel Four
ProducerEliza Mellor
ScriptGurinder Chadha
PhotographyNina Kellgren
EditorMichael Danks

Bhangra and Bangla music and the experiences of Asian sons and daughters are used to build a picture of a defiant popular culture.

Video Clips

1. Arriving in Britain (1:41)
2. The rise of Bhangra (3:12)
3. Connotations of Britishness (2:45)
Complete film (28:45)

What do you think?

Watch the first clip, 'Arriving in Britain'

  1. What do you think makes someone British?
  2. What does the last interviewee see as the significance of owning shops for the Asian community?

Watch the third clip, 'Connotations of Britishness'

  1. Why do you think the interviewee sees the connotations of Britishness as negative?
  2. How effective is the filmmaker's choice of music and images here? Why?
  1. Being British means many different things to different people - but what does it mean to you? For more on this go to the Activities section.
  2. We are told that owning a shop provided a foothold for Asians who were trying to make their way in British society. It also offered them a place to start building their own community around.
  3. The interviewee associates Britishness with the violence of colonialism.
  4. The filmmaker mixes Bhangra music with images of colonial violence, racism protest marches and news reporting racial attacks. It seems an effective way of showing the tensions between East and West.