The film, directed by Ed Owles, tells the story of the oldest auction house in India as it fights for survival in the age of eBay and a booming Calcutta. Owles’ first documentary feature follows its owners, two brothers: one recently returned to his homeland after a long and successful career in the UK; the other steeped in the firm’s traditions and sceptical about his elder brother’s plans for change.
Desperate to revive the fortunes of the beloved auction house that was purchased from the British by his grandfather, the odds are stacked against Anwar – a chaotic, fragmented city; a sleepy, half-morose staff and most of all his quarrelsome younger brother, Arshad.
The brothers struggle with living together for the first time since they were teenagers and try to find a place for their future by remembering their past. Their amusing, argumentative, but ultimately heartfelt relationship explores whether old family businesses like the Russell Exchange can still find a niche in 21st century India.
Find out more about the film on the Open City Docs Fest website
Cover image: illustrated by Clare Mallison