Patang (The Kite)

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This Indian drama provides a sympathetic view of the daily existence of some of India's poorest people. The film is set within a small, illegal shanty town surrounding a railroad station. The people, who live without water and electricity, eke out their living by stealing food from the passing trains.This pilfering is ignored by the sympathetic station master. The story focuses upon Somra, the adolescent son of Jitni, a beautiful unwed mother who works in town as a housekeeper. Jitni's lover is Mathura, one of the head thieves. Mathura and his gang of children, and it is the children who leap onto the moving trains to toss out food and items to waiting adults, meet opposition with the new commissioner of the Railway Protection Force. Somra loves to fly kites. Mathura, because he believes Somra hates him for loving Somra's mother, gets the boy deeply involved in his gang and then sacrifices him to the railroad guards. The outcome of the film is surprising. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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