Marathon Boy (2010)

Genres - Culture & Society, Sports & Recreation  |   Sub-Genres - Social Issues  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, India, United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Budhia Singh was born into dire poverty in India, and at the age of three his mother sold him to a salesman who used him as slave labor. This might have been the end of Singh's story had he not met Biranchi Das, a judo instructor who rescued the child, as he had with many other abandoned kids before. When Das tried to punish Singh for cursing by making him run laps, he discovered the boy had a remarkable talent as a distance runner, able to cover ground for hours on end. By the age of five, Singh was regularly running marathons and had become something of a local celebrity for his precocious abilities on the track. But child welfare officials began investigating Singh and Das, certain there was something wrong in the child's unconventional interest in long distance running and Das's eagerness to promote his career, even if the boy and his guardian argued otherwise. The case became a national new story, and filmmaker Gemma Atwal chronicles Singh's remarkable true story and how his talent and Das's support nearly proved to be their downfall in the documentary Marathon Boy. The film was an official selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.



controversy, India (subcontinent), marathon, poverty, scandal, judo-master