Siddharth

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Siddharth is the spellbinding and moving tale of one father’s increasingly-desperate journey across India in search of his missing son. Mehendra is a chain-wallah, eking out a meager living fixing zippers on the bustling streets of New Delhi. To ease his family’s financial woes, he sends his twelve-year-old son, Siddharth, to work in a distant factory in another province. Siddharth is supposed to come home for Diwali after a month away, but when he fails to return or call, Mehednra and his wife Suman begin to suspect the worst. The guilt-ridden Mahendra takes swift action but faces obstacles at every turn: he has no money, or even a photograph of his son; the authorities scold him for putting his son to work and suggest Siddharth would be untraceable if kidnapped and trafficked in a population of a billion people. With few resources and no connections, Mehendra desperately travels to Punjab and Mumbai with the hope that whoever took Siddharth might return him unharmed. Director Richie Mehta (Amal) deftly brings to life Mahendra’s moving, tangled, and often futile-seeming journey with a neorealist touch that transforms it into a genuine human portrait, creating a powerful family drama that is both heartrending and suspenseful. (Dir. by Richie Mehta, 2013, India/Cananda, in Hindi with subtitles, 97 mins., Not Rated, Zeitgeist Films) Digital