Mango Dreams is John Upchurch’s first feature film. Upchurch grew up in a farming town in North Carolina where storytellers filled the community, including his grandparents, farmers at the local hardware store, and the town barber. Storytelling, or spinning yarn, is a rich oral tradition in the South. It’s a dying art, but as a child, Upchurch loved to hear local storytellers spin a yarn. Their stories, the way they were crafted, entertained Upchurch as much as any movie. And, they demonstrated the power of a good story to change people. A good story not only entertains. A good story provokes thought between laughter, promotes healing between tears, delivers not only truth, but also compassion, and above all else, inspires hope. Mango Dreams comes straight from Upchurch’s passion to tell a good story.
A Hindu doctor with dementia and a Muslim auto rickshaw driver form an unlikely friendship as they journey a thousand miles across India in a rickshaw.
As a child, Dr. Amit Singh (Ram Gopal Bajaj) survived the British partition of India. Since then, he has been running forward his whole life, running from the nightmare of his childhood. Muslims murdered Amit’s family, and he feels personally responsible for the death of his younger brother. Now, realizing that dementia is slowly eroding his mind, Amit must return to his childhood home and make peace with his past before he forgets it all. Amit’s journey is stalled by the arrival of his son, Abhi (Samir Kochhar), who has come from America to commit his father to an old age home. Abhi’s plans force Amit to run away. Chance leads Amit to Salim (Pankaj Tripathi), a Muslim auto rickshaw driver who has himself been tormented by the past — his wife raped and burned to death by Hindu rioters. Salim offers to take Amit “home” without knowing exactly where the journey will lead. Tensions soon surface, but a journey of a thousand miles in an auto rickshaw has a way of breaking down walls. Along the way, Amit and Salim forge an unforgettable friendship. And, by the end of the journey, Amit and Salim help each other find the peace they both have been longing for.
Thursday, February 2, 2017: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art/Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 5:00 PM CT
Friday, February 3, 2016: Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL, 7:00 PM CT
Sunday, February 5, 2017: Winder Cultural Arts Center, Winder, GA, 4:00 PM ET
Monday, February 6, 2017: East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, 7:00 PM ET
Tuesday, February 7, 2017: Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, 7:00 PM ET
Wednesday, February 8, 2017: Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford, GA, 7:30 PM ET
Thursday, February 9, 2017: Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC, 7:00 PM ET