Flying on One Engine - w/ Crossing Lines

Sunday, Sep 28th, 2008 - 9:00 PM

Venue: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

Advance (Online)PriceDoor SalesPrice
Senior 65+/ Students$7Senior 65+/ Students$8
Group (min 6 tickets)$7

Community Event Sponsors: American University School of Communication, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Naan Sense Radio, Counselors Helping South Asians/Indians (CHAI), South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival (SALTAF), KhushDC

Filmmakers in attendance

Flying On One Engine

Directed by Joshua Weinstein

Running Time: 50 minutes
Year: 2008
Language(s): English, Hindi w/ subtitles


Flying on One Engine tells the remarkable story of 78-year-old surgeon Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet, who travels to India every year to provide free surgery to children who suffer from congenital and other facial deformities. Dicksheet has run the India Project Plastic Surgery Camp since 1968, where hundreds of impoverished families wait in line for hours for the chance to receive a swift diagnosis and the promise of an appointment the following week. As a result, Dicksheet has helped more than 50,000 children over the past four decades in a country where a condition such as a cleft palate can severely limit a child’s chance at receiving a proper education, let alone the ability to eat. Even more astounding is that he performs the surgeries in 12-hour marathon sessions, operating on dozens of children per day, hundreds of children a week--all the while suffering from a near-fatal heart condition and bound to a wheelchair as a result of a car accident that left him partially paralyzed in 1978.

Living like a pauper in a one room apartment in Brooklyn, the incredibly independent doctor is encouraged by a loving daughter and supported by a faithful staff of followers in India to continue with his life’s work, despite the reality of an aortic aneurysm that threatens sudden death. Dicksheet, who has also been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and speaks through his esophagus, knows his limits and likens his heart to a “four-engine plane flying on one engine;” yet compares his level of devotion of service to figures such as Mother Teresa and Al Gore, both of whom have won Nobel Peace Prizes. (Dicksheet has been nominated eight times and never won.) In a brisk 50 minutes, filmmaker Joshua Weinstein captures the tenacious spirit as well as the idiosyncrasies of this fascinating character, revealing a true humanitarian that is, after all, still human.

Crossing Lines

Directed by Leena Jayaswal and Indira Somani

Running Time: 30 minutes
Year: 2007
Language(s): English


Filmmaker Indira Somani journeys to India to reconnect with her extended family after the death of her father.  This moving documentary explores one woman’s rediscovery of her roots.