Three year-old Bilal lives with his parents, grandmother and younger brother in a small dark room in Calcutta, India. The family is poor and both of Bilal’s parents are blind. He may only be a toddler, but this resourceful, playful little boy already knows a lot about life. He guides his father through busy traffic, directs his mother to what needs cleaning in the home and teaches his one and a half year old sibling how to get his parents attention. Instinctively aware of his parents’ disability, Bilal has developed a special way of communicating and interacting with them. He gives them a hug to let them know when he is happy and when he is feeling mischievous he knows that if he runs off out of the house, there is little his mother can do to get him back, other than shout and wait for the neighbours to catch him. Director Sourav Sarangi observed Bilal for a year, capturing moments of hardship, tenderness and hope. His simple film offers us a child’s perspective on poverty, family, fun, and responsibility. It will, on many levels, make you question your way of seeing the world.
Top Award, Al Jazeera International Documentary Festival, Doha, Qatar 2009
English/Original Title: Bilal. Camera: Sourav Sarangi, Somdev Chatterjee. Sound: Sourav Sarangi, Pankaj Seal. Editing: Sourav Sarangi. Production: Son et Lumiere. Producer: Sourav Sarangi. Length: 88 min. International Sales: Mercury Media International Limited