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"An emotionally resonant portrait of contemporary South Africa...delicate and real...extraordinarily touching."
"A simple but profoundly moving portrait of humanity...a wonderful little gem."
"Lucky is both touching and believable without being heavy-handed and sappy."
– Vanessa Martinez, indieWIRE
How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky? Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky makes a promise to make something of himself. Leaving the security of his remote Zulu village for the big city with the hope of going to school, he arrives on the doorstep of an uncle who has no use for him. Lucky then falls in with Padma, an elderly Indian woman with an inherent fear of Africans, who takes him in as she would a stray dog. Together, unable to speak each other's language, they develop an unlikely bond. Through an odyssey marked by greed, violence, and, ultimately, belonging, Lucky shows how a child's spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.
Ali, Kwita, Omar, and Boukber are a group of street urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca. Their everyday lives are filled with violence, begging, and indifference. In order to survive they create a bond of friendship and family between then. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed at the beginning of the film by a blow to the head; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, who would have the boy buried in a potter's field. Instead they decide to give him a worthy burial, to bury Ali on the private island he so often dreamed of. Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances.
After stealing a machete from a market in Kigali, Munyurangabo and his friend, Sangwa, leave the city on a journey tied to their pasts. Munyurangabo wants justice for his parents who were killed in the genocide, and Sangwa wants to visit the home he deserted years ago. Though they plan to visit Sangwa's home for just a few hours, the boys stay for several days. From two separate tribes, their friendship is tested when Sangwa's wary parents disapprove of Munyurangabo, warning that "Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies." An intense & inspiring portrait of youth in Rwanda, MUNYURANGABO features Poet Laureate Edouard Uwayo delivering a moving poem about his healing country.
JUDE is a single mother who descends from a long line of Jamaican caregivers. SILENCE is a 'past his prime' boxer who fights illegally to survive. CIEL is a boy who delves into music, conjuring dreams for his mother. During the last week of summer, a late-night brawl finds the fighter in the nurse's care causing their three fates to be forever entwined.
Adam, a 60-something former swimming champion, is a pool attendant at a hotel in Chad. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile the country is in the throes of civil war. Rebel forces attack the government while the authorities demand the population to contribute to the "war effort," with money or volunteers old enough to fight. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret.
Young Manuel lives with his hard-working farmer parents in the remote, mountainous region of the Colombian countryside. While the adults in their lives try to avoid both the armed military and the guerrilla rebels fighting each other in the area, Manuel and his friend Julián are obsessed with playing soccer any chance they get. Shortly after his birthday, the new ball Manuel received as a gift gets kicked off to a minefield, and he, Julián and their albino friend Poca Luz will do everything in their power to recover their prized belongingâ€”an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams.
Ellie, a 12-year-old immigrant girl from Israel, is lonely and homesick. Life brightens when she meets Thuy, a Vietnamese refugee her age. Trust slowly builds as the two teach each other about life in America. As Ellie and Thuy become inseparable, they eventually hurt and betray each other. Ellie must give up her most prized possession in order to save their friendship. Based on the filmmaker's own experience, Foreign Letters is a story about prejudice, poverty, shame, and the power of friendship to heal us. The film features the music of iconic Israeli musician Chava Alberstein, who was the director's favorite musician when her family immigrated to the US in 1982.
Despite a bum leg, 25-year-old Grigris has hopes of becoming a professional dancer, making some extra cash putting his killer moves to good use on the dance floor of his local club every weekend. His dreams are tested when his step-father falls critically ill and he's forced to risk his future by smuggling oil to pay the hospital bills. When he befriends Mimi, a beautiful but damaged prostitute, the two will try to start a new life together. But as bad decisions begin to catch up with them, they'll have to run for their lives. Their pasts, however, are never far behind, bringing them to a perilous climax.
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review I've seen the short film years ago. This is a feature film of that short. It includes everything from the short film and adds more to the story where the short film left off. Lucky's mother passes away and is determined to get an eeducation and to be someone for himself. Unfortunately, he has no family, except for his useless uncle who prefers to take money for his simple pleasures. He bonded with an unlikeliest friend, an elderly racist Indian woman. She can recognize someone who wants to build something out of their life. So, she helps him in any way she can. Very nice film!
Paul Allaer - Customer Review "Lucky" (2011 release from South Africa; 104 min.) brings the story of Lucky, a 10 yr. old boy living in a remote Zulu village in South Africa. As the movie begins, we see him anxiously awaiting the return of his mom fom a trip to the Big City. As it turns out, she died of HIV-AIDS and instead she is returned to the village in a coffin. Before dying. she made arrangements for Lucky to go live with his uncle (mom's brother) in the Big City. Upon arriving, Lucky is not particularly welcomed with open arms, and it doesn't take long before things come to a full conflict. Around that time, Lucky strikes up an unlikely friendship with an old Indian woman living in the same complex. At this point we are about one-third into the movie. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out. Several comments: first and foremost, this is a very moving family drama that brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. When you see Lucky trying to cope with his mom's death, you cannot help but feel so incredibly sorry for him, as no 10 year old should have to go through this. Second, the movie explores the interaction between the large Indian community in South Africe and the natigve Zulu population in a very nuanced way that gave me great insights in the matter. Third, there are several outstanding performances, none more so than Sihle Dlamini as the 10 yr. old boy. He simply blew me away, not unlike, say, the performance of Quvenzhan Wallis as the little girl in last year's Beasts of the Southern Wild. Last but not least, there are several DVD bonus materials, by far the best of which is the original 20 min. short film from 2005, also called "Lucky", which director Avie Luthra uses as the platform for this feature film, and which is quite good in and of itself as well. Bottom line: if you are in the mood for a quality foreign movie that is miles away from your standard Hollywood fare, "Lucky" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Lucky (Shile Dlamini)
Lucky (Shile Dlamini) and Padme (Jayashree Basavaraj)