KORLA (2015, 78mins)
Dir: John Turner
As multifaceted as the sparkling jewel he wore on his turban, spiritual seeker Korla Pandit was a television pioneer and a godfather of the exotica music genre. From 1949, first in Los Angeles and subsequently in San Francisco, this self-described son of a Brahmin priest from New Delhi performed on TV daily while staring silently and dreamily into the camera. In the 1950s he charmed American housewives, and decades later he would emerge as a cult figure while playing at clubs populated by Los Angeles tiki-lounge-loving hipsters. Often pegged as a “man of mystery,” Korla lived up to that billing when his amazing secret was revealed upon his death in 1998. An incredible story of an African-American man passing as Indian throughout his life, Korla Pandit’s dizzying life offers a revealing look into race and identity politics in America.
This event is sponsored by “Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds” Mellon Initiative, East/South Asia Studies, African-American Studies, South Asia Without Borders Initiative, Performance Studies Graduate Group
For more information please contact: Anuj Vaidya, email@example.com