Past events

The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers
Tuesday 07 February 2017, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
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The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers

Ed Owles / United Kingdom / 2014 / 85 min

Tuesday 7 February 2017 5.30-7.30 PM
Location: Lecture Centre room 064,
Brunel University London,
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
Campus map: www.brunel.ac.uk/campus-map

The oldest auction house in India is fighting for survival in the age of eBay and a changing Calcutta. This film follows its owners, brothers Anwer & Arshad, as they struggle to save their family business and a piece of India’s heritage which still brings people from across Indian society through its doors today.

Elder brother Anwer recently returned to his homeland after a lifelong career in the UK and is desperate to revive the fortunes of his beloved auction house. It was purchased from the British by his grandfather in 1940 and has been in the Saleem family ever since. But the odds are stacked against him – a chaotic, fragmented city; an ailing workforce and most notably his quarrelsome younger brother…

Younger brother Arshad, India’s longest-standing auctioneer, has worked at The Russell Exchange since the 1960s and knows the place, and the world of antiques, inside out. He's steeped in the city’s traditions and is sceptical about Anwer’s plans for change. He believes that Kolkata is a city is in terminal decline and the auction house is destined to die out along with it…

As the brothers come to terms with each other and their future, their amusing, argumentative, but ultimately heartfelt relationship opens up a wider insight on whether old family businesses and unique places like the Russell Exchange can still have a place amidst the economic realities of 21st century India.

Organised by Film Festival Ambassador Seyed Samavati

Part of the Film Festival Ambassador series. Thanks to our dedicated RAI Film Festival Ambassadors, a selection of films from the RAI Film Festival Archive will be screening in universities and community venues across the UK between November 2016 and March 2017.