The Firm Land

Evidently the culture in India doesn't believe in happy endings.

This 2009 SIFF entry from India features a group of six men selected by their local village to "go to the city and get help from the government." Villagers are infected with AIDS and need medication and assistance right away, so they take up a collection and send these timid and naïve fellows on their way.

This movie is about these six simple country mice and their journey to the mean streets of Mumbai. We watch them get duped and swindled, kicked and robbed (I'm just glad we didn't have to SMELL those streets!). The screening description calls it "an absurdist story-within-a-story" but I found it painful to watch from beginning to end. Their version of a happy ending features the men finally back home in their village with many tall tales to tell... No success stories, but tall tales which entertain the entire village, even as their neighbors continue to die from AIDS.