PROD/SCR Nimisha Mukerji
COPROD/CAM/ED Mark Ratzlaff
MUS Schaun Tozer
PROD CO Shotglass Productions
Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder, and for those living with it, weekly blood transfusions become an accepted way of life. With the potential to stunt growth and even cause death, it’s a medical problem of the utmost urgency, and the situation is made worse in India by widespread poverty and an unstable medical system. Nimisha Mukerji’s (65_RedRoses, VIFF 09) documentary is an unflinching, compassionate look at the threat of death and the possibilities of life. Following various young sufferers of the disease and a heroic advocate who has dedicated his life to its treatment, the film shows us the big picture through intimate particulars.
We meet Imran, a 24-year-old aspiring rapper who faces his travails with humour and never once gives up hope; Suresh Shetty, the Health Minister who has to negotiate an imperfect system; and, most inspiringly, Vinay, the man who gives everything he has to support the afflicted. There are bad politics and bad bureaucracy here, but no bad people. This is a film about caring, about love and about struggle on many levels. Mukerji stresses personal empathy above all, but never loses sight of the big picture. There’s sadness here but no grimness, tragedy but no morbidity. Imran never stops smiling, Vinay never stops fighting. The struggles depicted here will be lifelong; but so, it’s made clear, will the courage and passion to fight them.