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Lucky (2011/IV) written and directed by Avie Luthra, is a difficult--but excellent--film from South Africa. Sihle Dlamini plays Lucky, a ten-year-old boy who is forced by grim circumstances to leave his village and travel to the city. Life was hard in the country, but life in the city is harder. The only relative Lucky has is his uncle, who barely tolerates him. Lucky wants to go to school, recognizing this is the only path out of poverty and despair. His uncle has other priorities. Lucky's only ally is an older Indian woman, Padma, played by Jayashree Basavaraj.
This is definitely not a feel-good movie. Not only does Padma mistrust Lucky, but her caste apparently forbids her to touch him, or to touch anything he has touched. It's definitely an unlikely friendship, and director Luthra doesn't soften the difficulties with a love-conquers-all approach.
The sad thing is that Lucky doesn't demand much or even expect much from relatives or from society. His wish is simple. He just wants to go to school.
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