The Mystic Masseur, scripted by Caryl Phillips and based on the novel of the same title by author V.S. Naipaul, was produced for the screen by Merchant Ivory Productions. It was the first of his acclaimed literary works that Mr. Naipaul has permitted to be adapted for film.
V.S. Naipaul's remarkable first novel is set during the mid 1950's in his native Trinidad where black, white, and Indian people make up the multicultural melting pot of the island. The story is rooted primarily in the Indian community, and it deals with the thwarted ambitions, frustrations, and ultimate triumphs that are possible in this 'restricted' part of the world. It is a story that is marked by its humor, its pathos and its warmth.
The film was directed by the late Ismail Merchant, produced by Nayeem Hafizka and Richard Hawley and executive produced by Paul Bradley. Shooting commenced in the fall of 2000 on location in Trinidad, and the film debuted in 2001.