The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers


Two brothers struggle to save their family business – the oldest auction house in India


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The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers

The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers

Elder brother Anwer recently returned to his homeland after a lifelong career in the UK and is desperate to revive the fortunes of his beloved auction house, The Russell Exchange. It was purchased from the British by his grandfather in 1940 and has been in the Saleem family ever since. A unique piece of India’s heritage which still brings people from across Indian society ? rich and poor, high class and low – through its doors today.

But the odds are stacked against him – a chaotic, fragmented city; a lazy, half-dead staff and most notably his quarrelsome, cantankerous younger brother…

Younger brother Arshad, India’s longest-standing auctioneer, has worked at The Russell Exchange since the 1960s and knows the place, and the world of antiques, inside out. He is steeped in the city’s traditions and is sceptical about Anwer’s plans for change. He believes that Kolkata is a city in terminal decline and the auction house is destined to die out along with it…

As the brothers come to terms with each other and their future, their amusing, argumentative, but ultimately heartfelt relationship opens up a wider insight on whether old family businesses and unique places like the Russell Exchange can still have a place amidst the economic realities of 21st century India.

Director Ed Owles
Producer Giovanna Stopponi
Produced by Native Voice Films
Duration 58 min. & feature
Year of Production 2014
Original Title The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers