Acclaimed documentary by Indian origin filmmakers, ‘The Reunited States’ is set to release the film digitally in India soon this year.
The documentary speaks of a significant them persisting today of political polarisation. Educating ourselves about significant issues and finding reliable sources of information is very crucial in today’s world where emotion, not actual fact, often forms public opinion.
Ben Rekhi and Raj Krishna’s documentary The Reunited States is soon coming to India which might have special relevance as it reminds people that a nation may be severely divided today, but there’s still hope for love and unity to bring us all back together tomorrow. The filmmakers behind this US-based documentary have a strong India connection and are gearing up as they prepare to release the 90 minutes film in India digitally on an OTT platform.
The documentary sheds light upon a very significant theme today: political polarization. At a time when America is ripping apart at the seams, The Reunited States follows four everyday heroes on the difficult journey of bridging political and racial divides in the US. Susan Bro, whose daughter was killed when a car drove through a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville, dedicates her life to the issues of social justice that her daughter died for. Independent politician Greg Orman believes the way to break our gridlock is to run as an Independent party politician to break the gridlock of the two-party system. Steven Olikara, the son of Indian immigrants from Kerala, founded the Millennial Action Project works tirelessly to build a coalition of bi-partisan lawmakers to transform the American government. David Leaverton used to work in Republican politics as an operative fomenting division to win campaigns. Now, he and his wife Erin set off on a journey across all fifty states in an RV to find out what is causing our divisions… and how to heal from them.
Inspired by the book of the same name by Mark Gerzon, ‘The Reunited States’ is a deeply moving portrait of the unsung heroes who have dedicated their lives to depolarization and are providing solutions for the rest of us to do the same. It urges us to consider that we are all either part of the problem or part of the solution of our divisions.
The director, Ben Rekhi, is an Indian-American award-winning narrative and documentary filmmaker. After working with the Coen Brothers on “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Rekhi was hired by George Clooney to shoot the behind-the-scenes for “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” Rekhi’s debut feature film was SXSW Audience Award Winner “Waterborne,” starring Shabana Azmi followed a Punjabi family in the US who is discriminated against after a terrorist attack. It was released by the Sundance Channel. His follow-up, “The Ashram,” a spiritual thriller set in the Himalayas, starred Kal Penn, Radhika Apte, and Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo. Rekhi’s most recent feature film “Watch List,” was financed by Bron Studios (the studio behind “Joker”), and premiered in competition at IFFI Goa before being released in the US by Dark Star Pictures. “The Reunited States,” is executive produced by American news media icons Van Jones and Meghan McCain and just released in February 2021 to much acclaim.
Raj Krishna, the producer of ‘The Reunited States’, also a writer and director, is based in California. Raj first produced “My ‘Friend’ Mick” directed by Ankush Jindal, which was sold to ShortsTV in 2019. His second short as the producer was “Knock Knock Knock” directed by Sudhanshu Saria, which world premiered at Busan in October 2019 and was sold to MUBI. Raj’s script “Varna Heights,” an Indian-set horror-thriller, was featured at the NFDC Co-Production Market at Film Bazaar in Goa in November 2019. In 2020, Raj wrote and directed his first film ‘Padmavyuha’, which world premiered as the opening night gala film at the Indian International Film Festival Toronto (IIFFT), and went on to play at festivals such as the Indian Film Festival Melbourne and the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival. Apart from “The Reunited States,” he has also produced another documentary called “Paradise” directed by Bijon Imtiaz and Arifur Rahman, which is currently filming in the Bay of Bengal.
‘The Reunited States’ was covered in prominent US press like The New York Times, PeopleTV, FilmThreat, and ABC’s The View It has featured innumerable film festivals in the USA like the Cinequest Film Festival (Opening Night Film), Nashville FF, Virginia FF, St Louis International FF, Woods Hole Film Festival (World Premiere), St. Louis International FF, United Nations Association FF, Virginia FF, Milwaukee FF, and won the Human Rights Award at the Rhode Island International FF. The plan is to release the documentary in India soon on a digital platform for audiences to witness an attempt to bridge the divide in America by laying out a plan to move forward in a direction of harmony together.