I am a judge for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. This feature film is a Crystal Heart Award Winner and is eligible to be the Grand Prize Winner in October of 2008. The Heartland Film Festival is a non-profit that honors Truly Moving Pictures. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Amal is a 30ish autorickshawdriver in New Delhi. He appears to be simple and quiet and even naïve. He dutifully lives with and supports his Mother, and works long hours to make ends meet. He is so out of place with the rest of the huge city of New Delhi. His fellow autorickshawdrivers seem to be hustlers and cheats. And his passengers and Delhi citizens are even worse. They include conniving lawyers, loan sharks, thieves, bribers, and spoiled adult children. One day Amal chases a little girl who has stolen a purse from a regular passenger. Amal accidentally causes her to be hit by a car and seriously hurt. Amal, out of the goodness of his heart, takes on the welfare of the child in a hospital. We begin to see Amal's incredibly generous and giving nature. Amal also has another chance, life-altering encounter when he picks up a surly old man who hates the world and tries to negotiate hard. Amal won't play his game, and cheerfully acquiesces to the old man's wishes. Unbeknownst to Amal, the man is rich and is so moved by their brief encounter that he leaves Amal in his will. There is a painful irony between Amal needing money to help the hospitalized girl and almost being wealthy by a kindness of a curmudgeon. This irony drives the story, and keeps your interest high. Amal is unaffected by worldly matters that consume everyone else. He is centered by his goodness and honesty and integrity. Sacrifice is all he knows except for his rich life in the help of others. FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
When Amal impresses an eccentric millionaire with his humility and humanity, he unknowingly becomes the old man's beneficiary.
November 13, 2020