Khaled (2001)

Release Date - Sep 10, 2001 (USA - Unknown)  |  
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Asghar Massonbagi makes his directorial debut with this gritty coming-of-age drama about a kid struggling to maintain some stability in his life in the face of an increasingly messy reality. Khaled is a sharp, precociously responsible lad dealt a bad hand in life. After a spell of being shuttled from one foster parent to another, Khaled is returned to his mother, an ex-junkie who is dying from disease. Khaled is deeply attached to his mom, being the only person he trusts. At home, he fixes dinner, tends to his mother and does sundry household chores. At school, he is picked on by bullies though he never backs down. His only friend there is a Russian kid named Ivan who defends him from his tormentors. When Khaled's mother finally dies, Khaled shows little emotion and tries to maintain his life as being, hiding his mother's death. Yet with bills piling up, a sleazy landlord demanding rent, and an awful smell emanating from his mother's bedroom, the charade is increasingly difficult to maintain. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.