Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night
I just watched a really cool documentary about call centers in India called "Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night" (a Women Make Movies Release).
( the title is a reference to the fact that many call center folks in India adopt alternate names "to avoid difficulty in pronunciation" during the phone call... these call centers generally operate at night- India being almost exactly 12 hours time difference... )
the film focuses on call centers to explore the theme of globalization, and, specifically, how outsourcing has affected India...
it also gives a very interesting perspective on the parallel lives that Indians live here, in the US, and back home in places like Delhi and Mumbai... and points out some of the paradoxes that the filmmaker noticed after visiting a large call center in Delhi...
one section focuses on the "cultural briefings" and pronunciation training that these employees receive when they are hired - depending on whether these call center "operators" are speaking to people in the UK or USA, the cultural info and accent training changes. the film was made by an Indian living here in the USA - which adds a certain sincerity to the perspective offered in my opinion - in part because she is able to draw parallels & contrasts to her own life, expressing her understanding for the Indian experience "globally". ( after seeing this documentary, it seems the "call center" scenes in Andy Boyle's film come pretty close too, but for obvious reasons, he would not be able to speak from a perspective as personally as the director does here )
more information about this film is available here and also, here
more about the director here