SIDDHARTH LINKS CHILD LABOR WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING
SiddharthBollywood idealizes the high life of India. Not so Siddharth, directed by Richie Mehta. The film is a slice of life of the underclass in India. The story is about Mehendra Saini (played by Rajesh Tailang), who sends his 12-year-old son Siddharth from Delhi to work for a month in a factory run by his brother’s friend in upper Punjab. His earnings will help the family, as Mehendra’s occupation is to repair zippers, and the factory has little business for him. When the month ends, Mehendra and his wife Suman (Tannishtha Chatterjee) expect Siddharth to return to celebrate the Diwali festival of lights (late October). But the boy does not return. His brother Pinky (Khushi Mathur) is cavalier about the matter at first, but when Mehendra finally gets the telephone number of the factory manager, the story is that his son ran off, something that his brother knew two weeks earlier. Mehendra reports the matter to the police, which chastise him for sending his son for child labor, but they are unable to help him because he has no photograph of his son to circulate. Next, Mehendra goes to the factory, where the boy’s roommate clarifies that he went out for food alone one day but never returned, and suggests they he might have his eyes poked out and be forced to beg on the street for the benefit of a captor. He also hints that Siddharth might be in a town that few ever heard of until one of his customers on the street uses her cellphone to search for the name and finds that the place is outside Mumbai. Helped by friends and a kind employer, he get funds to go to Mumbai. A taxi takes him to the place where wayward boys are housed by a charitable organization, but there is no clue about his son. At one point, he mistakes a boy for his son and thus realizes that even he has no recollection of what his son would look like if he saw him. A reviewer should not reveal the ending—whether the boy was found—but can report that Siddharth has been nominated by the Political Film Society as best film exposé regarding the plight of the poor and best film on human rights dealing with issues of child labor and human trafficking. MH

HOLLYWOOD RAISES POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS IS OUT TODAY!
The Political Film Society’s first book came out today. Edited by Michael Haas, many chapters agree that Hollywood films are much more conservative than observers imagine—and for very different reasons:
Introduction (Michael Haas)
        1.      Films Contain Political Messages (Michael Haas)
        2.     Art and Politics: The Political Film as a Pedagogical Tool (Michael A. Genovese)
        3.      Search for the Political Film (Ernest D. Giglio)
        4.     The Real Oliver North Loses: The Reel Bob Roberts Wins (John W. Williams)
        5.      Escape from the Bowling Alley: Traditional Associations as the Antagonist in Popular Film (Hans Noel)
        6.      The Politics of Disaster Films (Elizabeth Haas)
        7.      Liberalism and the Blending of a Kaleidoscopic Culture (Andrew L. Aoki)
        8.      Films about Thailand & Vietnam (Michael Haas)
Using Political Films in the Classroom (Michael A. Genovese)
        Bibliography & Index

Click for more (PDF)

12 Years a Slave
42
2016
A Dark Truth
Aftermath
After the Wizard
Age of Uprising
All God's Children
Arbitrage
The Angel's Share
Argo
Bethlehem
Big Miracle
The Book Thief
Boys of Abu Ghraib
Broken City
Burning Blue
The Butler
The Campaign
Capital
Captain Phillips
Cesar Chavez
China Heavyweight
A Coffee in Berlin
The Company You Keep
Compliance
Dallas Buyers Club
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Declaration of War
Devil's Knot
The Dictator
Divergent
Dormant Beauty
Elysium
The Emperor
Farewell, My Queen
The Fifth Estate
For Greater Glory
Fruitvale Station
Gangster Squad
Generation P
Geography Club
Go For Sisters
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Hyde Park on Hudson
Ilo Ilo
The Immigrant
Kill Your Darlings
Knife Fight
The Last Sentence
Leonie
Legends of Oz
Lincoln
The Lone Ranger
Lula, Son of Brazil
Lullaby
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Master
Miss Bala
The Monuments Men
Mulberry Child
Nebraska
Night Moves
No
Omar
Out in the Dark
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Parkland
Philomena
Policeman
Polisse
Promised Land
The Railway Man
Red Tails
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Retrieval
Rio 2096
A River Changes Course
A Royal Affair
Sacrifice
Saving Lincoln
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Siddharth
Side Effects
A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding)
Trade of Innocents
Transcendence
W./E.
Wadjda
Walking with the Enemy
War of the Buttons
West of Thunder
White House Down
The Wolf of Wall Street
Won't Back Down
Zaytoun
Zero Dark Thirty



NOMINATED FILMS
FOR 2014
(click on a title to read
a PFS review)

DEMOCRACY
Cesar Chavez

EXPOSÉ
Bethlehem
Cesar Chavez
The Last Sentence
The Monuments Men
Omar
The Railway Man
Siddharth
Walking with the Enemy

HUMAN RIGHTS
Bethlehem
Cesar Chavez
Devil's Knot
The Monuments Men
The Railway Man
Siddharth
Walking with the Enemy

PEACE
Cesar Chavez
The Railway Man

Click here to nominate a film






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