Film-maker Mohit Ramchandani has been recently in the news for having cast Pierce Brosnan and his son, Sean, in his film titled Bonded. The film follows a Mexican teenager named Jesus who, after the death of his mother, is sold by his father and smuggled into America, where he’s forced to work as a bonded slave labourer in a Los Angeles sweatshop. While imprisoned there, he befriends a young woman named Elena. But when she is claimed by a sex trafficker, Jesus makes a daring escape in order to rescue her. Excerpts from an interview with Ramchandani on his film, Indian connection and more:
Is it true that Sean Brosnan was your friend when you grew up in London?
Yes, I’ve known Sean for 10 years. He’s like a younger brother to me. We actually met when his brother, Christopher, invited me to Sean’s 16th birthday party in London. It was me, Sean, Chris, their father and about 100 girls. I knew then that we would get along.
Though you are not willing to talk about Bonded as yet, is the film’s screenplay based on true incidents?
I’d say that it was partially inspired by certain events I read about including a case, where 72 Thai immigrants were held in an apartment complex in El Monte, California. They were never allowed to leave and were forced to work 18 hours a day seven days a week for almost no money (which they could only spend inside the complex and buy items like toothpaste from their captors at exorbitant prices). This event prompted me to do some research and I found that even though California was the seventh largest economy in the world, 10 per cent of its revenue (about $25 billion) essentially comes from slave labour in the garment industry. Most of these 160,000 workers are illegal immigrants from Latin America.
What’s it about Pierce Brosnan that appeals to the director in you?
Pierce is an extremely versatile and charismatic actor. He is mainly associated with the character of James Bond (I still think he is the best Bond on par with Connery) though I actually think that his best work has been in his recent dramatic performances such as The Ghost Writer and The Matador. He’s also someone that everyone loves. I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about Pierce. He’s also one of the nicest and most professional people I have ever met. He’s been supportive of my career and I am very grateful for that.
new way to tell their stories if they really want to attract a global audience.