CHILDREN OF THE REPUBLIC
1 life | 2 days | 6 years apart
Children of the Republic is an observational documentary about an eleven year old boy. The child soon reveals that he is sniffing ink solvent. The encounter soon turns into a series of unforeseen events unfolding in front of the camera. Six years later, the filmmaker revisits the child, now a teenager selling vegetables on the street and later during the evening he reveals his habits and aspirations.
These two encounters sum up the life and purpose of his existence and underscores the lack of care and love to young children from the poor parts of the society.
THE STORY BEHIND THE FILM
The filmmaker was looking for something to submit to the “Life in a Day” Campaign on Youtube produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin MacDonald. This campaign back in 2010, invited people around the world to film anything on 24th July 2010 and send the footage within a week. So RAM borrowed a camcorder from his then boss and set out to film something. After this shoot happened, RAM did not want to send the footage to this campaign. However, it became his first short documentary as a director.
When the filmmaker met the parents in a nearby area, the parents acknowledged his sniffing habit. However, they revealed that they were not able to take care of their children and were willing to send them to a children’s home.
In 2013, RAM tried to find Santhosh again. Santhosh’s father had passed away the previous year and Santhosh’s family was torn apart. Santhosh’s mother had left him with a vegetable seller for work. His two younger brothers were admitted at a government school and she had gone away to live alone. Since then, Santhosh has been living and working with the vegetable seller.
The filmmaker is still in his attempt to convince Santhosh’s younger brothers in going to school. With this film, RAM is confident that he can convince an NGO in adopting Santhosh’s younger brothers.
Santhosh through the years
ON CHILDREN'S DAY,
the film was screened at Alliance Francaise of Madras
to a full audience consisting of mental healthworkers, teachers, students, NGO workers, volunteers and parents.