UNITED KINGDOM / INDIA – 2011 – 118 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ORIYA & ENGLISH
A FILM BY GEMMA ATWAL
NON-THEATRICAL: AVAILABLE FOR TV, VOD & FILM FESTIVALS ONLY
Gemma Atwal's dynamic epic follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger- than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long- distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple, and soon the two are swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal.
Following Budhia's roller-coaster journey over five years, MARATHON BOY is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart- racing world of marathon running, the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India. Nothing is what it seems in Budhia and Biranchi's riveting story, and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a parent and child.