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The film is a coming of age story about a boy nicknamed "Howly"(Sookrit Malik) with an active imagination who is trying to make sense of life at The Doon School, a prestigious public school located in Dehradun in India.
Eyes forward, Kiku hurtles down the street. A swish of glittering purple from the corner of her eye tells her that Madam is not far behind. Jhukki's grunts were getting louder. Kiku needed to quicken her pace. She shifts her focus back to her goal. The end of the street is a few meters away and beyond that lie her father's fields. She squints. Was that the silhouette of the Kanchenjunga she saw in the distance? A butterfly dances up ahead of her, its antennae pointing towards Kiku's finish line. Last few steps. She closes her eyes and stretches her hand forward. But, before she can step over the threshold, she is yanked back. Kiku lurches forward but Madam's fingernail is hooked into the collar of her shirt/blouse. The butterfly escapes. Kiku's hand drops to her side. OASS is inspired by a true story of Kiku who is taken away from her village at the age of 11 and sold to a brothel in Delhi. Drugged, beaten, raped and threatened, she surrenders to the atrocities in order to live, and ... Written by
OASS drags you through Hell and out the other side.
I came across OASS at the Cannes film festival,
I met one of the producers and he invited me to see the film in a small screening room. He said it was about the child sex trade in India, a tough topic but important.
I came in expecting a sad film but I was not prepared for what the film actually was like.
OASS grabs you from the very beginning and drags you through hell, it doesn't shy away from showing anything. Nothing is taboo for the film as it presents the true story of a girl growing up as a child prostitute in India.
A lot of inexperienced directors could have taken the story and made a very black and white film out of it with the heroes fighting the villains of the story, but the director Abhinav Shiv Tiwari knows that isn't the way life really is. The brothel owners are all horrifying to the girls and you feel real fear whenever they approach, but there are times amongst that where they show they are much more than that, and behave a lot like parents for the girls.
The best thing about the film is that it covers everything I could imagine would be relevant to the child sex trade in India, and for this it is a good film. However the reason I've given it 10 stars is because in the last fifteen minutes of the film there are two specific moments that knocked my breath away. I couldn't even breath in the cinema and I left the film with tears streaming down my face.
This is a film that needs to have been made, and a film that needs to be seen. It will be very controversial as it is screened around the world but it is talking about a very important topic that has never been discussed. It has to be the best film I have seen in the past 5 years.
When you experience this film and you'll understand what I mean.
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