Adapted from a novel by P Lankesh, in the Kannada dialect, this first feature is an arresting, lower depths portrait of the Bangalore slums during elections for the provincial governor. It follows 12-year-old Kyatha (Manja), a lively lad, who skips school, runs errands and lives in a government 'sponsored' shack under the watchful eye of older sister Deveeri (Das) whose innocence he comes to suspect (she says she 'carries bricks by night', but is in fact a prostitute). Fine location work and rich colour tones, with a non-strident, unsentimental but passionate take on the material, add up to a powerful condemnation of 'socialist' hypocrisy, corruption and male domination, tempered only by writer/director Lankesh's uncertain control of dramatics. Essentially, though, she builds immense sympathy for her young protagonist.
Cast and crew