Arriving in just in time to kick off the hot summer season, Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala is one of the major new restorations of the year, starring Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury in a blossoming romance as their characters face societal and cultural pressures. With the 4K restoration from The Criterion Collection supervised by both Nair and cinematographer Edward Lachman, it’ll get a theatrical release beginning next week at NYC’s IFC Center and the following week at LA’s NuArt Theater, followed by a national rollout and a disc release on May 24.

As the official synopsis reads, “The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South are blended and simmered into a rich and fragrant fusion feast in Mira Nair’s luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) finds herself helping to run a motel in the faraway land of Mississippi. It’s there that a passionate romance with the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington) challenges the prejudices of their conservative families and exposes the rifts between the region’s Indian and African American communities. Tackling thorny issues of racism, colorism, culture clash, and displacement with big-hearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and radical celebration of love’s power to break down the barriers between us.”

Watch the trailer below, along with a conversation following the restoration’s 59th New York Film Festival premiere.

Mississippi Masala opens April 15 in New York at the IFC Center and April 22 in Los Angeles at the NuArt Theater, followed by a national rollout, and a release on The Criterion Collection on May 24.

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