The Big Sick, an Amazon movie that hit theatres this summer, addresses the the complicated dynamic that children of immigrants face while living in America. The thematic question being: How does one partake in a fast-paced society that is heavily influenced by pop-culture and capitalism while also adhering to the culture of one’s parents and their homeland?
Born in Pakistan to Pakistani parents, Kumail Nanjiani is raised in the United States. He is a comedian who loves his parents and values his cultures, but struggles with his individual identity. He no longer abides by many of the traditional Pakistani practices that he was raised with, including his beginning to question his parents’ strong conviction that he marries a Pakistani woman.
Kumail falls for a white American student named Emily, but he is not able to fully commit or allow himself to be with her completely for fear that his parents will disown him for not marrying a woman from a similar background and set of values. It isn’t until Emily falls into coma that Kumail wrestles with his own beliefs. Not abiding by his parents’ desire for him to have an arranged marriage forced him to lead two separate lives. While discovering that he wants to marry outside of his home cultural practices, he realizes what his true values are - having taken some from his home culture and others from the American culture he grew up around.
As a comedian he addresses, comically and lightly, the ins and outs of racism and xenophobia within the United States. Kumail also showcases the mixed messages that many second generation Americans confront when they are part of two cultures.
Find the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJmpSMRQhhs