Review of the Music Documentary “Pardesi”

A 1991 documentary about the roots of the Asian Underground

Douglas Giles, PhD
The Riff
Published in
4 min readMay 30, 2024

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Pardesi (L’ étranger)

This is a rare documentary, Pardesi (L’ étranger), released in 1992 by French filmmakers Martina Catella and Michel Follin, produced by PMA-Ethnies Visions. Most of the dialogue is in English, with French subtitles throughout. The word “pardesi” means foreigner or stranger in (ironically) both Urdu and Hindi, from par (other) and desi (country).

I didn’t discover Pardesi until 2017, but I was long familiar with this music, having been a world fusion music DJ since 1998.

This is the music I love and the independent but reverent spirit toward music that I love and admire. I highly recommend it.

Aki Nawaz in “Pardesi” (Screenshot Source: Pardesi)

The Student on a Quest

The film follows Aki Nawaz (best known as a member of the musical group Fun-Da-Mental) as he explores the meaning of the Asian Underground music scene that emerged in England in the 1990s. But this is not a straight music…

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Douglas Giles, PhD
The Riff

Philosopher by trade & temperament, professor for 21 years, bringing philosophy out of its ivory tower and into everyday life. https://linktr.ee/dgilesphd