Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  • Pallasseum - Invisible City

    A witty play with the cinematic possibilities of establishing and breaking down spatial limitations, “Pallasseum – Invisible City” adapts the triptych form to delve inside Berlin’s largest urban living complex, a gathering of 2000 people of 25 nationalities. Taking inspiration from the building’s brutalist architecture, director Manuel Inacker adapts its principles of exposing the construction’s functions to show us the inner workings of the inhabitants’ daily lives. He uses significant details to paint in broad strokes each family’s story, studying how living changes the inhabited environment and how the latter will design our day to day existence as its part of the bargain.Mixing and matching sounds and images from different apartments, the film undermines spatial continuity to create a collage of actual and possible spaces and stories, the portrait of a city hidden from view but also of one that resides only in our imaginations. ...

  • Palna's Daughters

    A film about memory, identity and the overwhelming power of love. "Mommy, you have to eat a lot of chocolate so you'll become the same color as me, a pretty brown''. One year old Devi was found starving at a railway station in Delhi. The police took her to Palna, an orphanage, where she lived for a year. "Then two people with white faces came to play with me, and after three days I understood that they would be my mommy and daddy". When Devi learned to talk she often wanted to talk about Amma, her first mother. "Amma mommy was sick and couldn't take care of me. But she did hold me". In the film the six year old Devi journeys to her own past, as her family adopts another daughter from Palna, a baby sister for Devi. "I used to live in Palna, too. I wasn't brought from a store." ...

  • Parades

    Agapi shot the parade in Iaşi celebrating 50 years from the establishing of the Romanian Communist Party. It was an extracurricular routine task for him to shot the political events of the moment. More than four decades later, what was no more than a routine film has become a filmed document illustrating the Iasi society of the era. ...

  • Paradise Hotel

    25 years ago, at the outskirts of a provincial town in Bulgaria, the administration built a housing facility designed to picture the social „Paradise" - an impressive building which had all it takes, from parquet floors to intercom, the coveted hot water central, street lamps, benches under murmuring apple trees. Someone called the place Paradise Hotel - and the name stuck. But with the years the block gradually changed. The parquet disappeared. The water stopped. The lights went off. Now it is inhabvited by 1500 Roma people, and each of the inhabitants has a plan how to get back the dream of Paradise Lost. A documentary about panel integration, love, misery, and a lot of dreams, captures the contrasting way of life of the Roma community. At the fringe of the city and of society, they survive, dream, fall in love, and get married within their atypical paradise. The film is made with a detached, oniric approach, with takes it beyond the social topic. ...

  • Parchim International

    Made over the course of seven years, “Parchim International” documents one aspiring Chinese business tycoon’s dream of transforming the small, almost abandoned airport of Parchim in Northern Germany into an international reference point for air travel and global trade. More than just the story of rocketing success or glaring failure, the documentary shows the doubts and traumas of the people behind the business. Raised out of poverty through the sheer force of will and determination, Jonathan Pang of China becomes the owner of the Parchim Airport, after Luftwaffe during WW2 and The Soviet Air Forces in the time of East Germany, and promises to transform it into a gateway of Chinese culture in Europe. However, the concepts of capitalism and globalization clash with local workers’ values, who approach the change with scepticism, suspicious of big promises and little concrete action. “Parchim International” walks on the fine line between perseverance and utter folly and takes us along a journey of absurd humour, grit and clashing cultures. ...

  • Passenger

    Passenger is a title of a painting by John Scully, the well-known American artist. It was done in his studio in Barcelona in the early summer of 1997. A friend, the filmmaker Robert Gardner made what he calls "an observation in four movements". The intend of the piece is to impart an experience of the engagement by Scully with the work in question, an engagement which is both physical and emotional. The only sounds are those made by the artist as he works and, occasionally , musical passages from tapes Scully listened to while he is painting. ...

  • Peace For All

    In the west part of Macedonia, at the little town called Makedonski Brod exist temple called church Sn. Nicolas / turbe H'idir baba. Today in this shrine prayd Orthodox Christians, Muslims (Bektashi orders, Halveti orders and Sunni) and they all acknowledge the fact that it belongs to all of them and they can use it equally. ...

  • Pearl Button

    Water, the main metaphor in The Pearl Button, stands for a portal to Chilean history and culture. Patricio Guzmán explores the meaning of water as a flow of historical recollections and poetic reflections, rendered with cinematic clairvoyance. The surviving members of several native "water tribes", decimated by European colonization, remain to maintain their ancestral customs and language. Their genocide is juxtaposed by the more recent tragedy of Pinochet dictatorship of the 1970s, when thousands of political prisoners were murdered, many of whose bodies were dumped into the sea. Using journalistic accounts of these murders, Guzmán skillfully weaves together multiple modes of documentary: the picturesque, the political and the poetic, resulting in a more meditative, essayistic mode of non-fiction. Portraits of native peoples decked in elaborate body paint and masks stretch our ability to recognize the human. A documentary that transcends time, The Pearl Button is a vivid, essential gate to understanding not only the heritage of a nation, but also the art of nonfiction cinema. “It is the director’s extraordinary intuition about the synchronicity of history, geography and the physical universe – a mysterious relationship that has nothing to do with cause and effect – that gives the film and its predecessor their undeniable power.” – Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter ...

  • Pekka: Inside the Mind of a School Shooter

    On November 7 2007, eighteen year old Pekka goes to school armed in Jokela, a quiet town North of Finland’s capital, Helsinki. On that tragic day, he kills eight people. The director reconstructs Pekka’s story through conversations with his parents, classmates and teachers. The oppressive circumstances that brought on the young man’s tragic action are slowly revealed clearer and clearer and the spectator realizes that these situations are not unique to Pekka from Jokela. ...

  • Penitentiary

    Shot in a maximum-security prison in Romania, the film explores the world of the inmates sentenced to life inprisonment. Rather than focusing on the crimes for which they were convicted, the filmmaker inquires about their perception of freedom, punishment and God. Their stories depict prison life and its set of unwritten rules, and how survival is directly related to knowing and observing them. They describe their first day in prison and the twisted hierarchy they have to respect. Their accounts devulge the wrath of informers, the indignities of over-crowded conditions, and the use of self-inflicted illnesses to escape for a few days in the hospital. The friendships that are formed are based on the need for companionship and survival rather than on true affinity. Although an impossibility, they all hope to get out some day, which is the only thing that keeps them going. ...

  • People Dreams Action

    In search of a future-oriented model of society filmmaker Andi Stiglmayr came across the model settlement ''Siben Linden'' (seven lime trees) founded 10 years ago in the Altmark a region about 150 km west of Berlin. 120 different people divided in neighbourhoods marked by deifferent lifestyle try to accomodate various aspects of life such as work, life and leisure, communication, medicine, education, economy, ecology and culture. On the basis on the thoughts and the everyday life of two of the villagers founders the film tells in a sensitive but not glossy way about the challenges of life in community with its personal, ethical andecological demands. And it tells about the conflicts, success, aberration and the everyday encounters of people who have chosen a different way to live their lives. ...

  • People of Romania

    Seven short films describe seven ethnic communities living in Romania. Their forefathers have settled here a long time ago, with hopes for a better life. The series informs about the history of each ethnical group and sketches features of their cultural identity. ...

  • Philip and the Dream Factory

    Hollywood a devenit sinonim cu strălucirea și celebritatea. Gândul se duce automat la vedete sclipitoare,limuzine și mulțimi de fani care umplu străzile. Documentarul Philip și fabrica de vise pătrunde dincolo de acest clișeu, în viața obișnuită. Povestea lui Philip e povestea multor copii care s-au născut și trăiesc la Hollywood. Chiar dacă părinții lor sunt angrenați într-un fel sau altul în industria filmului, există o parte a existenței lor care e la fel ca oriunde: mersul la școală, distracții, hobby-uri. Dar perspectiva unei cariere în lumea filmului e prezentă. La doar 9 ani, Philip este promovat de o agenție pentru modele și actori copii și a avut deja roluri în spoturi publicitare. Cu mult discernământ, el explică cele două fețe ale medaliei în meseria de model sau actor: e plăcut și distractiv, dar poate deveni foarte obositor. ...

  • PHNOM PENH LULLABY

    Everyone holds a secret. The secret of the future. Phnom Penh Lullaby is an intimate story of a man looking for love and acceptance. Ilan Schickman left Israel dreaming of a new life. He now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with his Khmer girlfriend Saran and daughters Marie, 2 years old, and Jasmine, 6 months, trying to make ends meet as a street fortune-teller. ...

  • Photo Wallahs

    Filmed 1988-89, released 1991. Co-directed by David & Judith MacDougall. An encounter with photography and local Indian photographers in Mussoorie, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. A profound and penetrating documentary that explores the many meanings of photography, focusing on the photographers of Mussoorie, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills of northern India whose fame has attracted tourists since the 19th century. Through a rich mixture of scenes that includes the photographers at work, their clients, and both old and new photographs, this extraordinary film examines photography as art and as social artifact -- a medium of reality, fantasy, memory, and desire. ...

  • Picturesque

    The film intends to re-evaluate the social-cultural concept of "picturesque", through stories and visual imagery, following Mr. Nelu, 75, tourist guide and collaborator in the magazine "România pitorească". The filming crew follows Mr. Nelu in a journey through the villages, mines and deserted factories from the Apuseni mountains, while he comments on his personal relationship with the term "picturesque". At the same time, the director of the film is looking for the "perfect image" to represent the term. Therefore, the camera captures barren scenery and deserted fields, having nothing in common with the idyllic pastures, which places the term on the border of utopia. ...

  • Pig Business

    Pig Business charts the expansion of the giant US meat company Smithfield into Poland and Romania, where having bought ex-state farms for 'small dollars' it now dominates the industry. Animals are confined in narrow steel cages, scientists voice their anxiety that the overuse of antibiotics is leading to ever more diseases, neighbours are sickened by gasses from the toxic waste, local farmers cannot compete with the monopolistic competition and abandon their centuries-old farms. There are interviews with European bureaucrats and directors of taxpayer funded banks whose loans and subsidies support the expansion of factory farming at the expense of small family farms. Featuring Robert Kennedy Jnr, and leading politicians, the film shows us as consumers what are the realities of factory farming, and urges us to be sure that the pork, ham, bacon and sausages we buy have come not from factory farmed animals but from pigs raised on humane, healthy and sustainable outdoor farms. ...

  • Pigeon

    Only one Armenian has remained in a formerly Armenian village in Southern Turkey. All the others have left the village, either to move into town or to migrate to other countires. The old man tells stories of the past and of his present loneliness and sadness. ...

  • Pink Saris

    ''What do women have but their tears?', asks Sampat Pal, Kim Longinotto's latest heroine caught in a struggle to abolish the social ills plaguing a country caught between ancient patriarchal traditions and a hesitant modernity. Longinotto's projects tend to be about women who take matters into their own hands. Sampat Pal of the Gulbai (Pink) Gang is one such heroine fighting in support of the rights of women, the banning of arranged marriages involving underage girls, and the abolition of India's taboos regarding intercaste marriage. Having been herself married at twelve, Pal has a personal record of abuse suffered, which makes her engage ferociously in other women's causes, virtually unable to compromise. Capturing in great detail a colorful albeit flawed character - foul mouthed, belligerent, and prone to megalomaniac outbursts -, Pink Saris is allegedly Longinotto's most dramatic film since the explosive Divorce Iranian Style (1998). ...

  • Piter

    “Piter” is a nickname for Sankt Petersburg, a city as spectacular as the chronicle of its creation. The filmmakers explore the city following the every-day lives of seven St. Petersburg residents. Alexander Ivanov, once a senior party official, now runs a floristry empire. Anatoli, formerly an editor with a local newspaper, is unemployed and survives on charity and from collecting recyclable bottles. Elena Yakovlevna is a great Stalin fan. She is 87, and believes that life was much better under his regime. The people portrayed in the film are not connected directly, but they live in the same transitional milieu. They must now adapt and create new expectations of the future, fifteen years after Gorbachev’s perestroika. ...

  • Pittsburg Police Series: After the Game

    Police search for drugs in a house where they arrest a group of boys who return from from a basketball game and are accused of having a loud party and sniffing glue. ...

  • Pittsburg Police Series: The 4th and the 5th and the Exclusionary Rule

    This film consists of sequences from the Pittsburgh Police footage intercut with a panel discussion moderated by Professor James Vorenberg of Harvard Law School. Community organizers, police, students and lawyers discussed the issues raised by four sequences, including the implications of the 4th and 5th Constitutional amendments, and the Exclusionary Rule of Evidence for search, seizure, and interrogation procedures. The film demonstrates the multiplicity of roles in police work, and examines the conflicts between how the police define their duties and what the public expects of them. ...

  • Pittsburg Police Series: Three Domestics

    This film shows Pittsburgh police intervening in three domestic situations: (1) A woman wants the police to remove the man she has been living with in common law. They arrange for his arrest on an assault and battery charge; (2) A woman accuses her boyfriend of beating her and the man accuses her of lying. The police remove the man with some difficulty; (3) A boisterous and drunken father is removed from his house to spend the night in jail at the insistence of his wife and older son. Throughout the sequence, the father is cared for by his younger son. ...

  • Pittsburg Police Series: Vagrant Woman

    An unemployed woman who has been living in her car is questioned by police. They offer her advice and take her to the Salvation Army. ...

  • Pittsburg Police Series: Youth and the Man of Property

    A suburban couple calls the police to intervene after being harassed by a youth ...

  • Play, no matter what!

    Alexandra and Noni, two 14 year-old teenagers, live in Răchitoasa, an ordinary place in Romania. When they aren’t in school, they help their parents around the house or idle on the streets of the town. But one day, a couple of foreigners – Ash and Jolien – come to live in their town for a while. They turn an abandoned building into a colourful playground. Alexandra and Noni quickly befriend the two foreigners and spend time with them, discovering that playing is a universal language that can overcome communication barriers, and at the same time a way to escape the reality of living in Romania. Film website: https://playnomatterwhat.wordpress.com ...

  • PMR

    The Transnistrian Moldovan Republic is not acknowledged as an independent state by the international community and its self-proclaimed president, Igor Smirnov, has run the country for 21 years relying solely on humanitarian aid and favors from Russia. Meanwhile, the dream of Transnistrians to create a sovereign state on the ruins of the former Soviet Union has failed miserably. Amid a new presidential election campaign, the documentary presents the recent political situation in Transnistria in an objective, realistic and slightly ironic manner, with a bitter conclusion: it is possible to start over but nothing changes. ...

  • Poetry Behind Bars

    A poetical film inspired by the poet Radu Gyr who was imprisoned under three dictatorships. ...

  • POISONED

    Poisoned reveals the secret of food based on a very simple philosophy: food is a form of energy, and energy is known to be a form of information. This leads to the conclusion that food is, in fact, codified information. Andrei Sota has built the movie on the unique vision of Mr. Menci, a well-known Romanian Ph.D. nutritionist. Mr. Menci's theory has been known for thousands of years: the human body is designed by nature to decode the information from food and to turn it into the necessary substances to stay healthy. In the last hundred years, man has made incredible modifications to the food he eats, in order to increase production and profit. These modifications in the structure, growth, storage and distribution mean that there is no natural information in our food, but information that our body doesn't recognize and has trouble decoding it. Poisoned remains impartial and delivers a clear and concise message to all people who try to change their way of life. ...

  • Pomak Portraits II: Old Man Ibrahim

    Under socialist conditions of full-employ­ment, the poorly educated Roma enjoyed a modest degree of well-being. During the present transition period, the vast majority of the Roma have lost their jobs and many have fallen into extreme poverty. In this context of discrimination and despair, evangelism seems to be a ray of hope. During the month of June 1997, a visual anthropology workshop took place in the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. The initial goal of the project was to train a small number of young Roma into anthropological video techniques. Following the training period the each of the Roma students made a video exercise on a topic at their own choice. The workshop aimed to help the young Roma address a wide audience and tell their stories about life in their marginal community. It was further expected that native video recorders would express in their work a much higher degree of sensi­tivity to cultural meaning than an outsider could do. ...

  • Population Boom

    A well-known nightmarish vision of the future: The Earth’s population reaches seven billion. Dwindling resources, mountains of toxic waste, hunger and climate change—the results of overpopulation? Who says that the world’s overpopulated? And who’s one too many? After the box-office success of “Plastic Planet,” in Population Boom curious documentary filmmaker Werner Boote takes on the overpopulation myth and takes us on a light-hearted global investigation. A cinematic journey with the masses between myth, facts and politics. ...

  • Portret of Altine in the Dry Season

    Altine Ba is a 27 years old Peul woman, living in the Ferlo Desert, in Northern Senegal. Altine is the carrier of values, culture and knowledge of adaptation to the harsh environment of the Sahel. The documentary portrays her daily life during the dry season, following her natural sense of time. ...

  • Position Among the Stars

    For 12 years, filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich has followed an Indonesian family from the slums of Jakarta. Just as in his previous two multiple award-winning documentaries THE EYE OF THE DAY and THE SHAPE OF THE MOON, in POSITION AMONG THE STARS, Retel continues to show us the underlying patterns of life in For 12 years, film maker Leonard Retel Helmrich followed an Indonesian family from the slums of Jakarta. Just as in the previous two multiple award-winning parts EYE OF THE DAY and SHAPE OF THE MOON, in the third part POSITION AMONG THE STARS, the maker continues to show us the underlying patterns of life in Indonesia. He presents that both literally and metaphorically with his revolutionary camera work. His intimate access to the Indonesian Sjamsuddin family provides viewers a microcosm depicting the most important issues of life in Indonesia today: corruption, conflict between religions, gambling addiction, the generation gap and the growing difference between poor and rich. ...

  • Praising the Masters

    A variety of small trades were visible in the urban space until not very long ago under the form of small shops: the quilter's, the hatter's, the shoemaker's etc. You could buy soda water from the soda booth and have your broken household items fixed at the craftsmen's shops. A skilled craftsman was highly appreciated. Nowadays, you hardly ever come across craftsmen's shops on the streets of the city. The small trades are slowly vanishing. The documentary portrays ten representatives of urban professions putting together a piece of urban history. ...

  • Prayer

    In the village Topolnitza in Eastern Serbia, a ritual takes place every year on Saint Wednesday before Easter. Women come to the graveyard and light tree branches. It is a way to send and warmth to the dead. ...

  • Pregnant in Romania

    PREGNANT IN ROMANIA is an expository documentary with sociological underpinnings, combining several talking heads interviews to attain a global image of the governmental policies through which the Romanian state supports or not women who want to have a child. More than 40 women living in Romania and Spain are interviewed on social issues such as the viability vs. the dysfunctionality of the public health system, work-related discrimination or the role of one’s life partner in the upbringing of children. Despite the major differences in terms of age, education, occupation or financial means, all of them have to deal with the common denominator of the state. On the other hand, among them, there is, however, at least one factor which influences decidedly the quality of health services: money. Not only does Jesús del Cerro’s documentary underline the cynicism of the Romanian society in concern to the lack of actual support given to the future mothers, but it reveals moreover a highly conservative society in regard to the condition of women overall. ...

  • Pretty Dyana

    The story is about Kosovo refugees. They live in improvised shelters in a Belgrade suburb. They are Gypsies. At this point, we all expect to see the tragedy of these people’s miserable lives. Instead, we are drawn into a bizarre setting, where we soon learn that spare parts of old Citroen cars can be used for virtually anything. They are shown building vehicles with a SF appearance, even using the car battery as a private power plant. It is not an eccentric hobby, it is a way to survive. The film follows them throughout Belgrade in search of abandoned 2 CV and Dyana Citroens. We see them negotiating with owners of wrecked cars. We also find them interacting with police, who are not exactly fans of their recycled vehicles. The filmmaker introduces his characters with humor and empathy, revealing their ingenuity and adaptive skills. ...

  • Pretty Dyana

    The story is about Kosovo refugees. They live in improvised shelters in a Belgrade suburb. They are Gypsies. At this point, we all expect to see the tragedy of these people’s miserable lives. Instead, we are drawn into a bizarre setting, where we soon learn that spare parts of old Citroen cars can be used for virtually anything. They are shown building vehicles with a SF appearance, even using the car battery as a private power plant. It is not an eccentric hobby, it is a way to survive. The film follows them throughout Belgrade in search of abandoned 2 CV and Dyana Citroens. We see them negotiating with owners of wrecked cars. We also find them interacting with police, who are not exactly fans of their recycled vehicles. The filmmaker introduces his characters with humor and empathy, revealing their ingenuity and adaptive skills. ...

  • Price of Knowledge

    Day by day, the 11-year-old Sherab Dorji must walk for three hours to school. In the early morning he meets the other children of his village at a stupa, a Budhist shrine. From there, they walk to school together singing, because it kills the time. The road leads across a mountain and through the woods. Along the way, Sherab picks berries and mushrooms for his family. When he walks the last part by himself at night, he prays aloud to fight his fear. They have to walk so much, his father says, that their socks are torn within a week. Sherab's family is very poor. They live on farming. At nights, they must stay out with brandishing torches to protect the farmland against wild boars. Price of Knowledge depicts life in rural Bhutan. ...

  • Pride of Place

    A rarely seen classic, Pride of Place was made as a first project while Kim Longinotto was a student at England National School of Television and Film. As a teenager the filmmaker has been condemned to a girl's boarding - school in an old, isolated castle in Backinghamshire. Wisely, she ran away at the age of 17 and years later took the opportunity to for sweet revange. In this dark and expressive film, Longinotto exposes the repressive school from the students' perspective- as a kind of miniature state of with bizzare rules, indigestibles food and absurd punishments. One year after the release of the film, the boarding school was close down. With Pride of Place, Longinotto sets the tone for a long career of films in which individuals revolt against oppressive authorities and stiflings traditions. ...

  • Prirechnyy-The Town That No Longer Exists

    The inhabitants of the Russian town of Prirechnyy have received a letter from the county of Murmansk telling them that their town no longer exists. Still, a handful of retired persons refuse to leave this once-proud mining community. We meet four of them in their absurd, small universe in northern Russia. ...

  • Prisoners Of A White God

    The Czech anthropologist Tomáš Ryška spent a few years in the mountains from Thailand and Laos, integrating himself into the day-to-day life of the Akha population. Trying to understand their problems, the scholar got so close to them that he ended by being accepted as one of them. However, the Akha population is gradually falling victim to the development programmes initiated by the western states. The poverty and lack of hope are the worsened by major problems such as opium (thousands of people are executed without a trial in the war against drugs) and malaria (on forced relocation to the lower lands, one of the five aborigines falls victim to this fatal disease). Also, the intentions of the missionaries in what regards the Akha children are not always that Christian. To this disadvantaged population, “progress” - as westerners see it - only brings about pain and fear. Based on an investigation of terrible conclusions, the film shows in true light many of the civilizing heroes of the present days. ...

  • PRODIGAL SONS

    Filmmaker Kimberly Reed dives headfirst into an unflinching portrait of her family that is absolutely engrossing. Returning home to a small town for her high school reunion, Reed hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother. But along the way Prodigal Sons uncovers stunning revelations, including a blood relationship with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, sibling rivalries and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender. Reed's rare access delicately reveals not only the family's private moments but also an epic scope. Questions of identity, trauma and love are effortlessly explored as subjects freely open up their lives to the camera. Raw, emotional and provocative, Prodigal Sons offers a moving examination of one family's struggle to come to terms with its past and present. It's sure to open both your mind and your heart. ...

  • Promised Paradise

    In a suburb in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the largest Muslim community of the world, encased in a cardboard television set, troubadour Agus re-enacts the September 11 - 2001 attacks in New York in front of a public of children, using the packaging of a toy featuring the Word Trade Centre and a weird looking fish-plane. "Everything you see on your television is a lie: in this cardboard television the people are made of flesh and blood," he explains. Looking for answers, Agus tries to encounter terrorist Imam Samudra, the organizer of the 2002 discotheque bombing in Bali, in his cell in order to better corner him. He even consults a paranormal medium to enter in contact with one of the suicide bombers who died during the attack, and ask him if he regrets his act. confronts reality to theatrical performances through scenes inspired by acts of violence that shatter the country and the confusions that plague Indonesian society. ...

  • Propaganda

    The film of the official visit of a Communist Party delegation to the Veterinary Institute in Iasi is a rare occasion for the public to see how high officials of the Party moved from highly formal manners and official discourse to gargantuan feasts that would turn into loud parties with gypsy fiddlers. ...

  • Punam

    Punam's mother died when she was only five. She was left with her father, her newborn sister and her two-year-old brother. The children see little of their father because he works from sunrise to sundown to earn enough money for their school fees. During the daytime, nine-year-old Punam assumes the roles of head of the family, caregiver and homemaker. Punam's friends do not go to school. Their parents cannot afford the school fee. Instead of studying, they work in a stone quarry or brick-making factory to help their families get by. The film captures the hard work the children are required to perform and also takes a peek into the poor five-grade school that represents Punam's symbol of hope. She believes that education ushers in progress and is the only opportunity for improving their situation - perhaps bringing about new job opportunities in better conditions. We look at the situation through the eyes of this young Asian girl, who dreams of becoming a teacher and helping other children in situations like hers. ...