The Backward Class
Far removed from the slums and almost pathetically impoverished outlying areas of Bangalore, India there’s a residential school refuge for students who wish to rise above the lowly and antiquated caste they were born into (and deemed “untouchable”). Filmmaker Madeleine Grant goes inside the Shanti Bhavan school to profile and handful of grade 12 students going into their final push to take a standardized test they’ve spent years preparing for that can help them achieve their dreams in this inspiring look at a rarely glimpsed part of the world.
Instead of diving right into the crunch time studies of the teens involved or dwelling too heavily on the creation of the school, Grant spends enough time with her subjects to fully illustrate what they have to overcome and how insurmountable it must seem to all of them. The subjects are all intriguing and sympathetic, making the film’s eventual shift to more personal narratives a lot more rewarding. (Andrew Parker)
Monday, April 28th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 9:30pm
Wednesday, April 30th, Scotiabank 7, 5:00pm (RUSH ONLY)
Saturday, May 3rd, Scotiabank 7, 6:30pm (RUSH ONLY)