15. May 2015 · Comments Off on Richie Mehta’s ‘Siddharth’ · Categories: Feature Films · Tags: , , , , ,
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A chain-wallah’s urgent search for his missing son provides a harrowing look at poverty and desperation of India’s slums in Siddharth written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta. The film, Mehta’s second feature, premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in 2013 and was nominated for Canadian Screen awars in acting, sound and screenplay categories in 2014.

“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.”

Richie Mehta‘s Director’s Notes

Here’s writer/director Richie Mehata chatting with q on CBC guest host Rachel Giese.

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