Waiting for Sunrise explores extreme poverty in Lahore, Pakistan. Children without parents live in slums, cold and unloved, begging in order to stay alive as they endure verbal and physical abuse to earn enough money to live each day. These issues are rarely dealt with on such a personal and emotional level. Lahore and its collection of people becomes a character for this short documentary. Written by
Tabitha Powers Ahmad
Waiting for Sunrise won the UNICEF award for Best short film and was also shortlisted for one of the film world's most distinguished awards - the Grierson Awards for documentary in 2006. The budget in total was 2,500 pounds including flight tickets and post production. See more »
Sometimes, pictures do not do justice to the reality we see with our own eyes. In this case, words just cannot do justice to what Aneel Ahmad has delivered to us with "Waiting for Sunrise". The raw emotion that one feels when they watch an Aneel Ahmad film or documentary is a trademark occurrence, and this one is no exception. What is exceptional is how skilled he is, in such an extraordinarily short time, at showing the enormous number of details of a life of abject poverty in Pakistan. This documentary goes far beyond what the normal filmmaker captures of the standard street scenes or despondent faces. It is replete with heart wrenching details of the geographical, psychological, sociological and physical nature and consequences of poverty. At once we feel disgust and horror for what humans allow their brethren to endure in this world. At the same time we admire those enduring this hell as they hold back the tears and exhibit sometimes an amazing spirited strength and determination. An unbelievable daily resilience emerges that carefully guards a beauty that lies deep within their hearts and just beneath the surface of their blood-, sweat- and tear-streaked faces (or sometimes scarred and track-lined bodies). If they can't prevent thieves from absconding with their pittances, at least these poor souls can keep that heart and what dignity they in any possible way have managed to build. I felt like I should watch this documentary more than once. I've learned that the scheme of this documentary was restricted to just six minutes and I hope Aneel can make a longer documentary later. But with a six- minute length, there's plenty of time to watch it again and it SHOULD be watched by everyone... again... and again... and again... until humankind gets it through their heads and into their hearts that the worst - and possibly easiest - preventable disease on earth is poverty. I highly recommend watching "Waiting for Sunrise" and let it be a mirror view of your own conscience.
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