Shortlisted for the 2012 Oscars and winner of more than 20 festivals worldwide, The Road Home is a coming-of-age story about ten-year old Pico. Bullied for insisting he is British despite his Indian heritage, Pico runs away from boarding school in the Himalayas, determined to return to his home in England. As he journeys through a landscape unknown to him, Pico encounters others who mistake him for an Indian boy, forcing him to face the painful truth that the world does not see him the way he sees himself. In addition to the film, the DVD includes a) an unlimited public screening license to screen the film in public settings of any size, b) two film commentaries by Third Culture Kid (TCK) experts Ruth Van Reken and Heidi Tunberg, c) two film commentaries by the director, d) exclusive access to a curated webpage with articles, links, and annotated bibliographies for international families and professionals, e) behind-the-scenes footage and deleted scenes (with commentaries on each one), f) a preview of the upcoming feature based on the short film, and g) subtitles in fourteen languages: English (for hearing-impaired), French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Greek, Portuguese, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Thai.
As the co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, I have shared The Road Home with many who were raised between cultures as Pico was and who struggle with the same identity issues Pico faces. Recently I watched as two people saw the film with tears of both joy and sadness - joy that what they had felt but been unable to articulate for their whole lives was finally given a voice; sadness as they identified so deeply with the pain Pico felt when others made assumptions about who he was based on outward appearance rather than on his life experience. They understood only too well the frustration Pico felt when others did not see him as he knew himself to be, and knew how that frustration could come out as anger instead of pain. This film reflects powerfully the Hidden Diversity that is the new normal for so many in our world: where others expect the person to fit certain stereotypes based on appearance when that person is very different inside. Adults and children who are mixed race or bi-cultural, children of immigrants, and other multicultural people all relate powerfully to Pico's struggles in this wonderful film. The scenery and acting are magnificent, as is the story. Best of all, The Road Home reminds us of a fundamental truth for our globalizing world: until we know each person's story, we cannot make judgments of who that person is regardless of skin color or apparent ethnicity. That's why this film is so needed and important. --Ruth Van Reken
It was witnessing the pain and struggles of students who grew up outside their passport countries, then returned home for college or university, that led me to write The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition. The issues of identity and belonging these students face is portrayed so well in The Road Home. I frequently show the trailer to students, parents and teachers to explain why these children are different - their international living experiences make them very different from most of their peers. The film also illustrates what it means to be the Hidden Immigrant, as Pollock and Van Reken call them in their book, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. These students may look and even sound like their home-country peers, but because of their broadened world view, they do not think or act like them. This leads to many expectations being placed on those children expectations that go largely unmet. Gandotra's sensitive message comes out loud and clear. Anyone who has ever struggled with answering the question - Where are you from? - should see his film. Those seeking to better understand the hidden diversity in cross-cultural children need to ask - How did you get here? Find out about their journey. --Tina Quick