Review by Rim Karama
What can be said when a deceased baby girl regains her life just moments before her burial? Following her grieving father’s departure, she is left in the sole company of a social outcast, Sadho, a grave digger who ironically has only ever known how to put the dead to rest. But now he is forced to face life, head on, like never before.
Director, Danish Iqbal, certainly doesn’t fall short in gripping an audience’s attention with an event so extraordinary it can only be described as a miracle. But how he utilises this miracle to comment on wider social and ethical issues is what will really stir an emotional response.
Following Sadho’s journey as he fights his way through the gritty yet beautiful landscape of India is ever more crucial in understanding the deeper messages made by Iqbal on organised crime, illegal child labour and trafficking that are so prominent throughout the movie and currently, within India.
Between 2012 and 2017 alone, 242,938 children have disappeared in India with 30% still missing. This is exactly the sort of thing that Iqbal wanted to raise an awareness of and he does this by depicting two separate journeys; firstly, the painfully tragic experiences of soon-to-be parents, after Deepti goes into premature labour following a terrible car accident, resulting in the loss of their child and then secondly, the journey that follows Sadho who isn’t sure whether to sell the child and succumb to a life of child labour, or change society’s view on him once and for all by doing the moral and ethical thing, reuniting the child with his parents. Iqbal skilfully weaves both journeys together to stress the importance of not losing faith in humanity.
Iqbal’s ability to create a sense of gritty social realism in the film is admirable. He is not interested in glamourizing anything but instead, he chooses to focus entirely on simplicity as a means of expressing the scarce lifestyle lived by many in the poorer parts of India. Moreover, this story brings light to the crime that occurs daily in India but isn’t addressed or spoken about enough in society. There’s absolutely nothing glamourous about crime and Iqbal makes this perfectly clear. Sadho, isn’t your conventional hero either. In fact, his motives are so hard to read he’ll have you switching between feeling a deep sense of sympathy for him, and loathing his sick, and often naïve mentality all within a matter of moments.
If you’re looking for a light film with a bit of a sing and dance, Sadho may not fit that category, but it certainly fits so many crucial ones that will leave you pondering the current state of missing children, voicing your desire for justice and change and hugging your loved ones that extra bit tighter once you leave. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to feel this passionate after viewing a film as you will with Sadho, so be sure to join us at Watermans, Wed 21 March at 7:30pm with friends and family! Go and spread the word!
Sadho screens Wednesday 21 March, 7.30pm at Watermans Art Centre, London
Ticket Price: £10.00 / £9.00