Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

We're Seeing a Strong Dose of Tribalism Globally: Indian American Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

By Sugandha Rawal

M. Night Shyamalan, the US-based Indian-origin filmmaker, feels the wave of tribalism is taking over the world with people getting scared about losing their distinct identity. But the filmmaker says it is time to join the “larger group” and embrace the power of diversity.

The filmmaker is looking forward to the release of his film “Glass” — a superhero movie with a psychological twist.

Asked to point out one superpower the world needs right now, Shyamalan told IANS in an exclusive interview over the phone: “What we are seeing right now is a strong dose of tribalism where we are seeing nationalism from different countries… kind of rear its head.”

“This is a moment of globalisation and every country is worried that its distinct identity is going to go away and everybody is fighting for the old ways at the moment.

“But the courage to be part of a larger group, I don’t know if it is a superpower, but it is obviously something that we need right now,” added the filmmaker.

Talking about real life superheroes, he said: “We (my wife and I) have a foundation. And the format of the foundation is that we look for grassroot leaders around the world. My wife actually goes and finds them wherever they are in the world.

“If they pass the vetting process, then we ask them what they want and give them whatever they need. If they need money for the school bus, they want to dig a water well or want to build a school, we support them.

“They are amazing and they are the real life superheroes. They are kind of doing things in the war-torn areas and in areas where nobody can achieve any kind of good. And we are super inspired to be around these people.”

The director is happy with diversity wave making strides in the entertainment industry in the West.

“There is definitely a powerful message when people see heroes that look like other people or minorities get to see themselves in the protagonist’s position. It does cause a big change in the culture. And shifting of what is normal for a white family who is watching a show that has a non-white lead.”

M. Night Shyamalan.

He thinks it is a “powerful thing”.

“I think that there are important strides that are being made. And point of view is important…When you have non-white filmmakers or female filmmakers, we are going to get different types of stories, different types of strengths and we need those,” he said, quipping “I am non-white so I am probably biased about it all”.

With his roots tracing back to India, Shyamalan moved to the US as a child, and developed a passion to capture life through a camera when he was given one at the age of 8 — the moment nudged him towards filmmaking and inspired him to make a career out of it.

He made his first film “Praying with Anger” when he was 21, but his life changed after his breakout hit “The Sixth Sense” in 1999. He is also credited for projects like “The Visit”, “Wayward Pines”, “The Last Airbender”, “The Happening”, “After Earth”, “Split” and “Unbreakable”.

Now, he has converged the world of “Split” (a story about a man with over 20 different personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls) and “Unbreakable” (about David Dunn who gets superhero abilities after surviving a train crash) in “Glass”.

Also Read- Why US Classrooms Are Starting to Resemble Arcades, Read it Out Here

The awaited sequel to “Unbreakable” and “Split” stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson. Disney India is releasing the film in India. It will open on January 18.

Shyamalan points that “Unbreakable” (released in 2000) and “Split” (which opened in 2016) weren’t meant to be separate movies.

“It has always been one story. ‘Split’ was in the original outline of ‘Unbreakable’. But when I was outlining it, it felt way too complicated.

“When you put somebody in jeopardy like the girls in ‘Split’, there is a ticking clock and pressure that starts and you are unable to do character work once that clock starts. When you have two storylines — one is about a man who survives a train wreck and becomes a superhero and another is a bunch of girls getting abducted by person — the character study diminish. The audience doesn’t want to do anything and just save the girls.

“So, I pulled out ‘Split’ out of ‘Unbreakable’,” he said, adding that “Unbreakable” was perceived as a non-commercial thing to make a movie at the time of release. (IANS)



Music is the universal language that is spoken by all.

When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.

From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.

Keep Reading Show less

Awareness is the key to heal.

As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.

Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Game of Thrones taught us some significant lessons

Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?

There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.

Keep reading... Show less