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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.