“The filmmaker unfolds a fascinating story of the rich admixture of South Asian and African-American cultures while simultaneously exploring issues of American immigration”

– Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

An untold story of ties between South Asians and African-Americans in the U.S.

In the late nineteenth century, the newly arrived men from India married African-American women. The men were Muslim; their wives were Christian. Together they built families in an America that held them all at arm’s length. 

The Bengali takes African-American author Fatima Shaik, a granddaughter of this vibrant cultural tangle, from New Orleans, the city of her birth, to India, where her grandfather came from. Hers is a remarkable quest tempered with hope, fear, and deep divides of culture as she searches for family and life-force, a world apart.

“There’s a deft but visionary touch at play here. The Bengali is immersive social reporting on the human experience.”
– Tom Jennings, Director, Logan Nonfiction Program