Review of “Selling Children” (2018)

Moving picture, 58 minutes

Seen in 2018.

Having discovered that his maid’s 14-year-old daughter committed suicide after being trafficked, an Indian filmmaker travels around northern India with activists, documenting child slavery connected to the caste system and religious discrimination. Small children are seen mining mica with hand tools and baking bricks for construction projects meant for the prosperous south, while Bengal girls are favoured for sex. A lawyer, with a case at the Supreme Court, says there will be bloody reckoning before the world’s largest democracy, with its booming economy, comes to grips with the problem.

While this was being filmed, the CRI research group at NTU in nearby Singapore was building a robot that can move around on wheels while FDM-printing concrete structures. The scale of slavery in India proves a medieval level of poverty and ignorance, which the director describes as a second India. It isn’t. It’s William Gibson’s heterogeneous vision of the early 21st century.

moving picture non-fiction