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Kavi (2009)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 296 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 11 critic

The story of a young boy who attempts to escape from the brick kiln where he is forced to work as a bonded labor slave in India.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sagar Salunke ...
Kavi
Ulhas Tayade ...
Boss
Rajesh Kumar ...
Father
Madhavi Juvekar ...
Mother
Dibyendu Bhattacharya ...
Social Worker 1
Rishi Raj Singh ...
Social Worker 2
Mukesh Bharati ...
Guard
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Storyline

In modern Maharashtra, Kavi, perhaps 10, lives with his parents at a brickworks, where his father is indentured. The energetic Kavi sees himself as the boss's fastest worker. In the family's single room - with a metal door an overseer bangs each day to call the workforce - there's a small plant the family calls its farm. The boss seems to appreciate Kavi's enthusiasm, but a beating is never far away. Besides pride in his industry, Kavi has dreams: to join other boys in a game of cricket and to go to school. His parents tell him it's not for him. Then, Kavi has a brief encounter with two men asking questions about the brickyard. What should Kavi do? How much should he risk? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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school | beating | plant | kiln | india | See All (25) »

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Not all prisons have bars

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

12 March 2010 (Mexico)  »

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(Eastmancolor)

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1.85 : 1
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Edited into The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010: Live Action (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Probably the Oscar favorite and my favorite of the five nominees
27 February 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am going to say something rather radical. Over the last several years, I've gone to the showings of both the animated and live-action short films that were Oscar nominated. For the first time ever, I went to a showing and didn't particularly like any of the films--as was the case with the live-action ones for 2010. I didn't think any of them were bad but i also didn't think any were Oscar-worthy--and most of them were amazingly unpleasant--like the Academy deliberately tried to pick the most unpleasant films they could this year. Perhaps 2008-9 was a poor year for live-action films or perhaps this just shows a bias of the people picking them. However, I can't see the public in general enjoying most of the films or wanting to see them.

Of the five nominees for 2010, this is my favorite film and the one that seems to be the favorite for the award. It has something the other shorts don't have in its favor--it is a message film that is about a serious international problem--slavery. While technically, some might argue this isn't slavery, per se, in the film, practically speaking that is exactly what it is and the film is heartbreaking.

Kavi is the young boy who, along with his parents, lives a hellish life. The three of them work from sunrise to sundown at a slave labor camp in India where they make bricks. In contrast to this backbreaking work, Kavi sees other kids his age nearby going to school and playing. It's obvious he longs for a normal life. However, the folks who run this place are cruel and brutal. Eventually, government officials come to the place and it looks as if the scum that run the place will be able to hide the slaves and get away with their actions. See the film to see what will happen next.

There is a lot to admire about this message film. First, although it's an unpleasant film, there is a reason for the unpleasantness--slavery is evil and cannot be sanitized. Second, the film was made by a students as his masters thesis--which is amazing. Such a high quality film from an amateur is amazing. The only negative is that the camera work was, occasionally, rather jerky--which is relatively common these days but which is very hard on the eyes when you see this on a big screen. Still, this is my only misgiving and I look forward to seeing the Oscar results on March 7th.

UPDATE--3/7/10. Well, I got another one wrong. "The New Tenants" won the award. Oh well, at least I picked the best animated short correctly this time!


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