Slumdog Millionnaire was one of my favourite films last year, but it was fiction. These two documentaries weren't quite as entertaining but they were certainly illuminating.
In Children of God the South Korean director focuses his lens on the story of two boys trying to scrape together enough coins to feed themselves and their little sister. It is a sobering look at young children fending for themselves on the streets of Katmandu as their mother escapes in a stupour of alcohol. The crematorium is nearby, and they scavenge from the offerings made to the dead. The boys take to the city streets and the euphoria of sniffing glue, but by the end of the film one returns to the steps of the temple to care for his sister. The director plans to return in a few years to see the story of their lives unfold. It makes me wonder about intervention though - couldn't he also use this as an opportunity to improve their lives?
Hair India takes outsourcing to a new level in this fascinating exposé of a lucrative Indian export: hair. This Italian film travels across continents, culture, class and religions as it chronicles the demand for long lengths of human hair and shows how it is collected through devout temple offerings. Scenes shot of the "Great Lengths" corporate jet, fashion shows, Hollywood and Bollywood stars, wealthy young Indians dancing in nightclubs in Mombai and Indian slums and temples - what an amazing world we live in!