We Homes Chaps
A unique Scottish Presbyterian home was founded by a missionary at the turn of the century in British India. It takes in orphans, mainly destitute Anglo-Indian children but also children of Tibetan refugees and other Himalayan people in strife. Grounded in old-fashioned colonial Christian values, the school is a home for many who otherwise don’t have one. But it is also a universe unto itself.
For the eponymous Homes chaps, the institution is a surrogate parent, an anchor, a lifelong attachment. It is a love with an edge, a difficult love. Why that is so is what Tibetan filmmaker and Homes alumnus Kesang Tseten attempts to answer when he and his classmates of 29 years ago return to the ‘Village for Children’ in the lap of the Kanchenjunga for the institution’s centennial celebrations. The film is a searing, yet lyrical, reflection on displacement, marginalisation, nostalgia, the powerful hold of early experience and the nature of love.