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  • John & Jane (Home Use)
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John & Jane (Home Use)

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Editorial Reviews

In vast, fluorescent rooms, thousands of ambitious young Indians talk to people in Kentucky, California or Idaho. Bridging continents by telephone, they pitch products and soothe frayed consumer nerves. As they troubleshoot, they dream of America. As they dream, they change. What is it like to transport yourself to a remote land you've never even seen? How does it feel to live so far outside your own body? Welcome to the world of offshore call centers. JOHN & JANE is an astonishing look at the souls of the outsourced. Shot on 35mm and composed with unsettling grace, this documentary finds an entirely original and fitting language to express the eerie dislocation of virtual work. The lives it depicts are real, but the film's approach gives those lives the scope of speculative fiction.

Nikki and Osmond have taken Western names, partly for convenience, partly for their own pleasure. They sleep during the daytime and work in the middle of their night, following American business hours. As part of their training, they learn the meanings that work, money and God hold for Americans. In classes that could be read as satire or tragedy, they study shopping flyers as though they were textbooks.

However, this futuristic world of American aliases and simulated reality is not science fiction, these are the times in which we live. JOHN & JANE raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity in a 21st century globalized world.


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Product Details

  • Directors: Ashim Ahluwalia
  • Producers: Ashim Ahluwalia, Shumona Goel
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Future East Film
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2010
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036ZABVE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yves Rossy on February 13, 2010
Format: DVD
Ashim Ahluwalia's John and Jane is, at first pass, a film essay that closely follows
the very different trajectories of six call centre workers--"Glen", "Sydney",
"Nikki", "Osmond", "Nicholas", "Naomi"--while they talk across the Atlantic to (in
this case) American "customers" who are barely aware of their existence.
In other words, a familiar, even tired, subject for chatter; the newspapers both in
India and in the West have, for some time, been awash with talk of BPOs,
columnists have sung paeans to the industry and labour researchers have
condemned it; politicians have taken, and switched, their positions on whether it
is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing, and large parts of rural and semi-rural India are
now learning English with the hope of becoming part of it. However, the fact of
all this chatter, all this micro-opinion, will unfortunately only serve to cloud and
distract from the actual place and ambition of John and Jane; for Ahluwalia--from
his very first frame in which we see a shot of New York's Times Square that is
both alluring and terrifying, from the very first murmur of the stunning
soundtrack--is playing for much higher stakes. This is not, in the end, a film
about the merits and demerits of a particular industry, but a very personal and
visionary document of an epochal global transformation. It is a document, a
fiction, an allegory, a work of art, that will resonate and continue to reveal its
meanings for years to come.
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By Ala Mohseni on March 14, 2015
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A great documentary
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