After sending away his 12 year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra (a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets) is relieved – his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child-traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in pursuit, with the hope that whatever force arbitrarily took his child away will return him unharmed.
- Audience Award - FIFAI Océan Indien
- Special Mention (SIGNIS Award) - Hong Kong IFF
- Rajesh Taliang
- Tannishtha Chatterjee
- Anurag Arora
- Mukesh Chhabra
- Geeta Agrawal-Sharma
- Richie Mehta
- Bob Gundu
- Richie Mehta
- Stuart A. McIntyre
- Andrew Lockington
In 2010, I met a man on the streets of Delhi, who asked me for help in finding a place called “Dongri.” I asked him what it was, he told me he thought it was where his lost son was. He went on to tell me his story – that he sent his 12-year-old boy away to work, and never saw him again.
He believed his son was kidnapped and trafficked. After the initial shock wore off, I asked him for more details – a photograph, the spelling of his son’s name. He couldn’t answer any of them (being illiterate, and having never taken a picture). Since he was obliged to work every day to support his wife and daughter, all he could do was ask others for help. And he’d been doing this for over a year.
Knowing that this man didn’t have the ability, nor the means, to even properly inquire about his son is an unfathomable tragedy. He barely understood why this kind of thing happens, much less how. This film is my attempt to reconcile my extremely layered relationship with this circumstance. It’s a story made up in equal parts by tragedy and optimism, and I hope what we’ve done here transmits even a fraction of the confusion, sorrow, helplessness, and ultimately, hope that I felt in meeting this man.
- POOR MAN'S PRODUCTIONS LTD.
Amazing performances all round and such impeccable craft, all in service of an incredibly affecting story.
Mehta captures the noise and dust of the Indian cities without the taint of Western poverty tourism, and he wraps things up on absolutely the right note.
Richie Mehta's first feature film, AMAL, has won over 30 international awards, was nominated for 6 Genie Awards, including Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay, and was named one of the top ten Canadian films of the decade by Playback Magazine. Mehta recently completed the sci-fi feature film I'LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN, starring Haley Joel Osment, Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell, and Victor Garber, for Resolute Films and eONE films, to be released in 2014.