Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I recently had the good fortune to watch “All the invisible children”( , a collection of short films about the life of children from various parts of the world. The movie was one that gave me a lot of perspective on how life differs from place to place and yet remain the same in many aspects. My take on a few of them…..


The first of the shorts, Tanza is a tiny tale about a boy named Tanza. Set in war-torn Africa, the short is filled with those images that are probably the worst emanating out of Africa after that of its Kwashiorkor struck younglings- of young, impressionable children wielding AK-47s. An image at once as acutely comic as a duck tottering about with a dumbbell in its beak and as eerily uncomfortable as……………….. well, an innocent ignorant boy with violence stamped on his soul. An age where kids somewhere else fall in love with numbers: an age where Pappy’s shoulders become the throne from which we own the whole, big world; an age where the nicest daydreams deal with tanks of melting chocolate and towers built of cakes and ice-cream; vulturously clawed away by the talons of war. The film brings upthe most debilitating blow that fates delivers – the utter helplessness of these young ones to gain a normal education. The director Mehdi Charef brilliantly brings this vision of a futile dream in the closing frames of the film.


What the viewer takes away as souvenirs for watching Blue Gypsy must be the delightful music and memories of the unassuming charm of the round-eyed protagonist. The narrative of a boy’s departure from a correction house and his subsequent return is surprisingly warm and mirthful. Dotted with comic relief throughout, the film is, hands down, the happiest of all the shorts I saw. A loving mother, a true to blood gypsy dad and a hilarious warden seem like characters pulled out of a fairy tale. Emir Kusturica gifts a short that will leave your heart enlivened.


A one word description for this short might be- real. If another word were to be allowed, that would be ‘global’. It is a gripping story of the apathies that society subjects AIDS victims to. What makes this short rise above run-of-the-mill representations of the issue is the simplicity that makes the characters remarkably believable. Hence, the adjective ‘real’ is implied.


The reason I went to the trouble of downloading this movie was for this short. (urs truly being a Ridley fan). A story of an adult war photographer’s delusion that takes to children surrounded by war. Nothing was particularly wrong but still a disappointment. Only particular thing I remember being the closing quote ‘Friendship multiplies the good things in life and divides the evil’


The director’s skill has to be lauded for making a common day of rag picking for 2 kids into an entertaining short. Streaks of brilliance are visible when he draws comparisons between a F1 video game and a cart- a credible delve into what could be the protagonist’s mind. A story about 2 kids and how they salvage cardboards, cans et al to sell at a junkyard. The short follows them on their riveting little adventures for the span of a day. One thing that will stay long in my mind will be the ingenious hand footer board the kids make.

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