Destinies Entwined: A Review of ‘Mother Teresa & Me’

Brad Miner | October 3, 2023

We know who Mother Teresa is, but who is the “Me” of the title? She is Kavita, a fictional young woman whose story is interwoven with Mother Teresa’s in director Kamal Musale’s new film, Mother Teresa & Me.

Kavita (played by Banita Sandhu) is a 20-something accomplished violinist living in contemporary London, but – musical ability aside – her life is a mess. Her Indian parents, unaware that Kavita is pregnant, are seeking to make an arranged marriage between her and a young man from a Brahmin family. In frustration, Kavita flees to Kolkata (once, Calcutta) to be with the woman, Deepali (Deepti Naval) who had been her nanny.

And why wouldn’t she flee? It’s bad enough that she’s between a rock and a hard place with her parents, but her guitar-playing “boyfriend” is a slug. He wants no part of becoming a father.

The film actually begins with a scene of Mother Teresa, in the habit of the Missionaries of Charity, accusing God of having abandoned her, then in flashback to Teresa as a black-habited nun of the Sisters of Loreto, crawling on the streets of Calcutta during the so-called Week of the Long Knives in 1946 – nationwide riots and murderous violence between Muslims and Hindus. Teresa is searching for food for the girls at the Loretto convent school where she is a teacher. A Muslim man threatens her with a scimitar but is shot by a Hindu man, who, in turn, is chased away by British police.

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